20 Years of Automotive Internet: The History of Dealer Groups

20 Years of Automotive Internet: The History of Dealer Groups
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History of Dealer Groups

Dealer Groups have grown in number, size, and influence. Maria Espinoza is a dealer group expert, Maria what’s some of the history around dealer groups. Small dealer groups have existed for a very long time. Dennis you sold for a small dealer group back in 1979 and the concept of one dealer owning a series of stores was already tried and true back then. The move toward giant dealer groups began in the mid 1990s, CarMax opened its first superstore in 1993 as a concept and announced plans for an 80-90 store group in 1996. Republic Industries began that same year and became the first to go public. We know them today as AutoNation. In the U.S. there are at least nine groups with 75 or more stores. In Europe there are at least 10 groups with 100 or more stores. The interesting thing is midsized groups, the average size of midsized groups is bigger than ever, even as the number of midsized groups has grown with are growth in average size even as the number of midsized groups grows. Maria, are there some marketing advantages exclusive to dealer groups? There sure are and we’ll dive into that next week.