Auto Dealer Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the Auto Dealer industry

Electric Vehicles Special Topics Valuation Issues

Smart Connected Cars, OTAs, and Their Impact on Auto Dealers

The Future of Automobiles

Connected cars are an undiscussed subplot in the current inventory crunch as more tech-enabled vehicles require more microchips, which as everyone knows by now are in short supply. In this post, we examine the size and growth of the connected car segment and discuss the struggle between auto manufacturers/OEMs and auto dealers over servicing these features.

Litigation Special Topics Valuation Issues

Case Review: Observations From a Recent Auto Dealer Litigation

The valuation of auto dealerships can be very challenging and complex. This week we discuss a recent Appellate Court decision, released from a case (Thomas A. Buckley v. Grover C. Carlock, Jr. that we were directly involved in back in 2019. The case centered around a shareholder oppression issue involving a minority owner of an “ultra-high-line” auto dealership. Mercer Capital was hired by the Defendant to serve as the expert witness.


April 2022 SAAR

The April 2022 SAAR was 14.3 million units, up 6.5% from 13.4 million in March but down 21.9% from the recent high April 2021 SAAR of 18.3 million units. We dig into the comparison of the last three April SAAR figures (’20, ’21, and ’22) in this post, as dynamic conditions resulted in three very different narratives surrounding the SAAR.

Blue Sky Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures

Values Up, Valuations Flat?

As the Inventory Shortage Persists, Dealers Are Getting More Credit for Their Outperformance

If you only look at the Blue Sky multiples, you’re missing the bigger picture because valuations (multiples) may be flat, but values are up. In this week’s post, we look at an illustrative example and check in on the valuation multiples for luxury, mid-line, and domestic brands.

SAAR Supply Chain

March 2022 SAAR

The March 2022 SAAR was 13.3 million units, down 5.3% from 14.1 million in February and down 24.4% from March 2021’s SAAR of 17.6 million units. This drop in the SAAR is a product of several factors. We dig into the low magnitude of the seasonal adjustment and ongoing supply chain issues in this post.

Special Topics

Meet The Team

Scott Womack, ASA, MAFF

In each “Meet the Team” segment, we highlight a different professional on our Auto Dealer industry team. This week we highlight Scott Womack, Senior Vice President of Mercer Capital and the leader of the Auto Dealer industry team. The experience and expertise of our professionals allow us to bring a full suite of valuation, transaction advisory, and litigation support services to our clients. We hope you enjoy getting to know us a bit better.

Blue Sky Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Public Auto Dealers

Public Auto Dealer Profiles: AutoNation

There are six primary publicly traded auto dealers that own approximately 923 new vehicle franchised dealerships as of year-end, or approximately 5.5% of the total number of dealerships in the U.S. In this blog, we focus on the largest automotive retailer in the United States, AutoNation.

Our goal with the Public Profiles blog series is to serve as a reference point for private dealers who may be less familiar with the public players, particularly if they don’t operate in the same market.

Special Topics Valuation Issues

Succession Planning for Auto Dealers

Sorting Through the Madness

What is succession planning? Succession planning is the transfer of value or leadership in a company or organization. For auto dealers, the dealership can represent a lifetime of efforts and relationships with key employees and customers.

This post discusses some of the key factors involved in the succession planning process and why they are so critical.

Public Auto Dealers Used Vehicles

Q4 2021 Earnings Calls

Inventory Shortages Continue to Dominate the Auto Dealership Operating Environment

Inventory shortages are at the forefront of many of Q4’s earnings calls themes. While dealers across the country are looking to increase their new vehicle inventories, used vehicles are in greater supply. Numerous executives noted they are carefully managing this used inventory to avoid getting burned on currently elevated prices. In addition to inventory shortages, we also highlight comments concerning dealers charging above MSRP and the effect that has on the market.


February 2022 SAAR

The February SAAR was 14.1 million units, down 6.4% from last month and 11.7% below this time last year. The 2022 Q1 SAAR is expected to be the highest since Q2 2021 when the vehicle inventory shortage started to fully take hold. While the seasonally adjusted annual rate has certainly improved from the lows of late 2021, raw sales numbers tell a different story. Read more about it in this week’s post.

Auto Dealerships

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