Asbury Automotive Group has made a living out of being large. The company oversees about 80 dealerships, which operate around 100 auto franchises, in about a dozen states, including the Carolinas, Florida, Texas, and Virginia. The dealerships sell some 30 different brands of US and foreign new and used vehicles. Asbury also offer parts, service, and collision repair, as well as financing and insurance. The auto dealer has grown by acquiring large, locally-branded dealership groups, as well as smaller groups and individually-owned dealerships, throughout the US. Customers include individual buyers and fleet operators.
Aside from the Carolinas, Florida, Texas, and Virginia Asbury has dealerships in Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, and New Jersey.
Revenues increased by some 10% in 2011 vs. 2010 and net income grew by close to 80%. Revenues in 2011 came in at $4.3 billion compared to $3.9 billion in 2010 and cash flow from operations increased to $135 million in 2011 from $23 million in 2010.
The company's luxury and mid-line import vehicles comprised 84% of revenues; while its domestic vehicles 16% of revenues in 2011. The company also operates some 25 collision repair centers, which accounted for around 15% of revenues.
On the operational side, Asbury Automotive responded by selling assets and shuttering or selling franchises. In early 2011 the firm sold its heavy truck business in Georgia and a Peterbilt franchise there to Rush Enterprises. (The sale marked the firm's exit from the heavy truck business, which included seven brands of heavy trucks, among them Hino, Isuzu Truck, Volvo, and Workhorse.) Previous divestments include a Chrysler and two GM dealerships, following the twin bankruptcy filings. The closures were part of the Chrysler and GM's dealer consolidation plans. The Chrysler dealership was located in Roswell, Georgia, and the GM locations were in Kissimmee, Florida. Historically-acquisitive Asbury Automotive also temporarily stopped buying dealerships, while it struggled to manage its existing business.
The company believes its current mix of luxury and mid-line import vehicles will continue to grow over the long term, but are influenced by potential downturns in the economy, cost structure, and brand mix.
Investment firm FMR LLC owns about 13% of Asbury's shares, while MSD Capital (tech-mogul Michael Dell's personal investment vehicle) owns about 11%. – less
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