Auto Dealer Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the Auto Dealer industry


Electric Vehicles

Litigation Special Topics Valuation Issues

2024 NADC Conference Key Takeaways

We’re back from the National Association of Dealer Counsel (“NADC”) annual member conference in Napa, California. The conference took place from Sunday, April 14th, to Tuesday, April 16th, and conference attendees included attorneys, auto dealer principals, in-house counsel, and vendors/service providers like us. It was great to see familiar faces, meet new people, and hear how several auto groups are faring in the current environment.

In this post, we provide a brief list of key takeaways from a few of the sessions we attended. We believe the topics covered are especially important for auto dealer counsel and their clients to watch throughout the remainder of the year and beyond.

Special Topics Supply Chain

United Auto Workers Strike

What It Means for Auto Dealers

The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has been ongoing for almost a month now. In this post, we talk about how we got here, updates on the strike, and the strike’s anticipated impact on auto dealers.

Special Topics

Toyota’s Steady State Battery

Breakthrough or Yet Another Long-Dated Production Target?

In early July, Financial Times reported Toyota’s solid-state battery breakthrough. According to Keiji Kaita, president of Toyota’s research and development center for carbon neutrality, the goal is to cut the size, weight, and cost of both liquid and solid-state batteries in half. In this post, we get into the details of this report, what auto dealers should know about solid-state batteries, and provide some context for realistic expectations.

Special Topics

EV Potpourri

Discussing Levels of Charging to OEM Requirements of Dealers

There are exciting developments in the electric vehicle (EV) market, where sales momentum continues to build as EVs make up an increasing share of new light-duty vehicle sales. Learn about the different charging levels, the various requirements automakers have for their dealers, and the expanding presence of charging stations at various retailers and restaurants. As major auto manufacturers are investing in and adapting to the EV revolution, sustainable transportation appears to be the way forward in this rapidly growing industry.

SAAR Special Topics Used Vehicles

Auto Industry Trends to Monitor in 2023

An Automotive Potpourri

January is a month to review statistics from the prior year and to make predictions for the new year. The automobile industry is no different. In this post, we tackle a potpourri of trends to monitor in 2023, including new and used vehicle prices, electric vehicles, connected cars, and SAAR predictions for 2023.      

Special Topics Valuation Issues

State of the Industry From the Tennessee Automotive Association Convention

Musings From Mercer Capital’s Music City Office

Last week we attended the Annual Tri-State Convention for the Automotive Associations of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.  The event provided a great opportunity to discuss trends in the automotive industry with industry participants and dealers from different manufacturers and geographic areas.  In this blog, we discuss some of the trends discussed last week, including a variety of topics that we have covered before in this space. We also incorporate highlights of a presentation from noted industry analyst Glenn Mercer (no affiliation with Mercer Capital) regarding the “Dealership of Tomorrow.”

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.

COVID-19 Coverage Special Topics Valuation Issues

The Future of Auto Dealerships

How Inventory Shortages and Electric Vehicles May Shape the Future of Automotive Retail

Just as December is a good time to look back and reflect, January is a good time to look forward, to 2022 and beyond. When we value auto dealerships, we look back at performance in prior years because this helps to inform reasonable expectations for future performance. Prior to the pandemic, the directly preceding twelve months of performance may have been a reasonable proxy for ongoing expectations. However, throughout 2020 and 2021, discussions about when things will return to “normal” or whether we’re in the “new normal” have taken center stage.

In order to look forward, we must also consider the past, or as Shakespeare’s Antonio would say, “What is past is prologue.” In this post, we look at two key trends in 2021 (inventory shortages and electric vehicles/direct selling) and how they may inform how automotive retailing will look in the future.


December 2021 SAAR

The December SAAR totaled just 12.44 million units, down 3.5% from last month and 23.7% from December 2020. Inventory shortages, supply chain issues, and consistently high demand have been commonplace in the auto industry since the summer. That being the case, December’s low SAAR should not surprise many. In this week’s post, we discuss inventories, transaction prices, electric pickup trucks, and the outlook for January 2022.

Special Topics Valuation Issues

EV Start-Up Rivian IPOs at Valuation of $86 Billion

What It Means for Ford, Other OEMs, and Auto Dealers

Rivian Automotive has been in the news a lot recently given its eye-popping IPO. Ford has invested in Rivian and until recently was planning to jointly develop an EV. In this week’s post, we feature a recently published piece from our Family Business Director blog about Ford’s decision to invest in Rivian from Ford’s perspective.

Auto Dealerships

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