Auto Dealer Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the Auto Dealer industry

COVID-19 Coverage Special Topics

Electric-Vehicle Industry Is Heating Up

Policy and Oil Price Implications for EV Sales

The current focus for new auto technologies is less focused on speed, and more on sustainability, as there appears to be a shift in focus away from developing the century-old gasoline-powered vehicle to electric. The electric-vehicle (EV) industry has shown to be an attractive long-term alternative for manufacturers. In this post, we’ll survey the landscape including the beginnings of EVs, major players in the industry, and the future outlook.

COVID-19 Coverage Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures

Fiat Chrysler & Peugeot (PSA) Merge into “Stellantis”

Analyzing the Timeline and Twists and Turns of a Transatlantic Merger During a Pandemic 

Last week, we analyzed Asbury Automotive Group’s acquisition of Park Place, a deal scuttled by COVID-19 that came back to life under revised terms. This week, we are moving upstream to look at the merger between Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Group PSA (manufacturer of Peugeot and Citroen) and observe the new name of the entity, the merits and hurdles of the ongoing deal, and some potential impacts on auto dealers.

Luxury Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Public Auto Dealers Special Topics

Asbury-Park Place Acquisition as Seen Through a Monday Night Football Commercial

You Make the Call!

In this week’s post, we review a timeline of the Asbury-Park Place transaction, along with an analysis of Asbury’s stock price against the rest of its public competitors and also examine the operational strategy of Asbury over the years to explain aspects of the Park Place acquisition. As with any merger or acquisition, the true success or failure of the deal may not be known for years. Investors and industry professionals can try and play armchair quarterback and try to predict the outcome. This blog post aims to provide ample information so that you can “make the call” on the transaction.

COVID-19 Coverage SAAR

June 2020 SAAR

A Lackluster Month, But a Move in the Right Direction

After SAAR rebounded in May, June’s results seem to pale in comparison. However, with SAAR coming in at just over 13 million, this is still an increase from May’s SAAR of 12.3 million. Sales have continued to remain below the previous year’s numbers, with June 2020 declining 20% from the same period 2019.

COVID-19 Coverage Public Auto Dealers

Vroom, Zoom, and Stock Market Boom

COVID-19 Causes Declines in Q1, but Executives Maintain Optimism Going Forward

As we teased last month, Vroom filed an S-1 with the SEC in May enabling its initial public offering (IPO) on June 9th. The online automotive retailer priced the 21,250,000 shares at $22/share. By the end of the trading day, Vroom’s stock had increased 118% to $47.90. For perspective, the NASDAQ as a whole rose only 0.3% that day. The company positions itself as “an innovative, end-to-end platform designed to offer a better way to buy and a better way to sell used vehicles.” A press release also touted its “contact-free” nature, apparently seeking to distinguish Vroom from traditional, franchised, brick-and-mortar dealers as COVID-proof. In this post, we’ll consider Vroom’s business model compared to other online dealers, the company’s investment thesis that may have driven their spike, and see what the filing could tell us about the broader industry and the IPO market more generally.

Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Special Topics Valuation Issues

Valuation and M&A Trends in the Auto Dealer Industry

Shifting Out of Neutral

For this week’s blog post, we sat down with Kevin Nill of Haig Partners to discuss trends in the auto dealer industry and the recent release of their First Quarter 2020 Haig Report.  Haig Partners is a leading investment banking firm that focuses on buy/sell transactions in the auto dealer industry, along with other transportation segments.  As readers in this space are familiar, Haig Partners also publishes Blue Sky multiples for each of the auto manufacturers based on their observations and data from participating in transactions in this industry.

Valuation Issues

How Proper Normalization Adjustments Contribute to a Better Finished Product

Trusting the Process

In previous posts, we discussed the valuation methodologies and the value drivers of an auto dealership valuation. The next step in the process is to normalize the financial statements.

Normalization adjustments take private company financials and adjust the balance sheet and income statement in order to view the company from the lens of a “public equivalent.” Adjustments are often interrelated; a change to the balance sheet frequently will affect the income statement.

In this week’s post, we highlight many of the typical normalization adjustments that must be considered in the valuation of an auto dealership.

COVID-19 Coverage SAAR

May 2020 SAAR

May Vehicle Sales Supported Optimistic Predictions, But a Slow Manufacturing Rebound is Threatening to Hinder This Growth

After a devastating April SAAR, predictions for a rebound in May proved to be correct. Vehicle sales in the month jumped with SAAR increasing 38.6% to 12.2 million. However, while dealerships have been able to remain open in some capacity through online sales, manufacturing plants have not had such options. Looking forward, inventory shortages and supply chain disruptions may pose some challenges for dealerships.

Valuation Issues

Driving Value: Key Components of an Auto Dealership Valuation

Auto dealers, like most business owners, are likely always curious about what their dealership might be worth. While there are many times they may want to know, there are various life events that make them need to know the value such as a transaction (including buy-sell), litigation, divorce, wealth-transfer, etc. While valuations tend to be performed infrequently around these events, dealers can evaluate their business and improve its value by understanding and focusing on the value drivers of their auto dealership and addressing them on a consistent basis. So, what are some of the value drivers of an auto dealership?

COVID-19 Coverage Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Public Auto Dealers

Q1 2020 Earnings Calls

COVID-19 Causes Declines in Q1, but Executives Maintain Optimism Going Forward

Auto dealers stock prices declined in the first quarter of 2020 following the broader market trend. Though many dealers saw year-over-year gains in sales and earnings in the first two months of the year, earnings calls focused on the coronavirus pandemic. Volumes have fallen across the country, though executives pointed to recent positive trends. Downturns have muddied the M&A market, and some companies don’t plan to rehire everyone that has been let go. Many praised the support of OEMs including significant incentives such as 0% financing. With dealership doors shuttered, many executives touted their online presence, though there was not a consensus on digital’s long-term place in the market.

Auto Dealerships

Mercer Capital provides business valuation and financial advisory services to companies throughout the nation in the auto dealer industry.