Auto Dealer Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the Auto Dealer industry


November 2022 SAAR

The November 2022 SAAR was 14.1 million units, down 6.5% from last month but up 7.9% from November 2021. Compared to this time last year, vehicle availability has significantly improved, and there seems to be hope around the industry that the auto inventory crunch is in its final act. If true, this would be good news for auto dealers and consumers alike, as more units on dealer lots seem to be the first step in a “return to normal” for the industry. While it’s clear that a year-over-year improvement is present, a dip from last month’s SAAR figure may raise red flags for some of our readers. However, an additional selling weekend in October and a marginal uptick in sales due to natural disasters in the Gulf of Mexico were both tailwinds that supported a surprising improvement in the SAAR last month. Given this perspective, November 2022’s SAAR seems to return to the larger trend of improving conditions.

Luxury Special Topics

Auto Brands and the 2022 World Cup

Who Are the Top Ranked Countries?

This week we compare the FIFA rankings of the world’s largest vehicle producing countries. Spoiler alert: there is no correlation. But in our research, we found plenty of interesting nuggets and talking points. We also discuss top vehicle producing nations that did not qualify for the World Cup, nations that did qualify but do not have a large presence in auto production. We also get into brand presence and Blue Sky multiples of these nations’ vehicle brands.

Special Topics

Meet the Team

Harrison Holt

In each “Meet the Team” segment, we highlight a different professional on our Auto Dealer Industry team. This week we highlight Harrison Holt, Financial Analyst. We hope you enjoy getting to know us a bit better.


October 2022 SAAR

The October 2022 SAAR was 14.9 million units, up 12.7% from October 2021 and up 9.8% from last month. This month’s SAAR comes as a bit of a surprise, as the last three months’ sales pace settled at around 13.4 million units and seemed to have stabilized at a short-term equilibrium. However, meaningful improvements in inventory balances and other tailwinds like natural disaster-related demand contributed to the second-highest monthly SAAR total this year. For perspective, from 2014-2019, there were zero months where SAAR was below this recent high in the inventory-constrained 2022.

Special Topics Valuation Issues

Market Insights on Auto Dealer M&A Activity

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Kevin Nill of Haig Partners to discuss the current state of the M&A market and other timely trends in the auto dealer industry.  Specifically, we discussed some of the movements in Blue Sky multiples for various franchises and interpret the range of multiples that Haig Partners recently published with the release of their Second Quarter 2022 Haig Report.  

Special Topics

Regulatory Update: Amendments to FTC Safeguards Rule

Impacts to Auto Dealerships

NADA estimates that auto dealerships could face up-front costs of up to $294,000 per rooftop to comply with the FTC’s Safeguards Rule. If you are not familiar with the Safeguards Rule, this post discusses it and the amendments that must be complied with by early December 2022. 


September 2022 SAAR

The September SAAR was 13.5 million units, up 2.3% from last month and up 9.6% from September 2021 when the industry had less than one million vehicles available for sale. While this month’s SAAR highlights a year-over-year improvement and gives us context around how low inventory managed to fall in 2021, this month’s data release does not indicate a “return to normal” by any means.

Special Topics

Book Review:  The Future of Automotive Retail (Part 2)

Discussions and Predictions of Changes to Auto Dealers in the Next 30 Years

In this week’s blog, we continue our review of the book The Future of Automotive Retail by Steve Greenfield.   It covers the changing trends of consumer behavior and technology that will likely continue to shape the automotive retailing experience for decades to come.  In part one of the series, we discussed the “convenience economy,” including predictions of changes to power sources and vehicle production.

In Part two of this series we discuss vehicle ownership, autonomous vehicles, connected cars, service and repairs, and the proposed future of the auto dealership.

Auto Dealerships

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