Penske Automotive Group Italy is the latest joint venture to be created in Italy, marking the coming together of Penske Automotive Group and BMW-Mini dealer Andrea Mantellini and his family who are based in Bologna. This joint venture will enable Penske Automotive, the No. 2-biggest publicly traded automotive retailer in the U.S. according to revenues, to expand into Italy.
Penske Automotive will control 70% and the Mantellini family will own the rest of the newly created Penske Automotive Group Italy, which will buy and operate dealerships in northern Italy, the companies said in a release on Wednesday. Presently, this joint venture includes Mariani dealership in Monza, Milan, and Milan Vanti Group, which the Mantellini family owns.
Last year, Vanti Group sold around 1,000 BMWs and 450 Minis. Meanwhile, Mariani (which has been renamed to Auto Vanti Monza) recorded sales of approximately 550 BMWs and 320 Minis in 2011. The daily operation of these two dealerships will be managed by 39-year-old Andrea Mantellini. In the U.S., Penske Automotive owns and operates 166 franchises.
But outside its domestic market, it has a total of 169 stores, most of which are in the UK. The release also revealed that Penske Automotive had $11.6 billion in global sales in 2011. This is a difficult period in Italy as overall vehicle registrations dropped by almost 18% to 268,240 units just after two months.
But then, BMW and Mini have been able to escape the downward trend. Through February, BMW brand registrations fell by 9% to 7,979 units through February while Mini’s volume increased by 30% to 3,464 units, according the Italian Transport Ministry. Penske is actually the second foreign dealer group to make an investment in Italy during the past eight years. Porsche Holding purchased the Eurocar dealer group in 2004.
This group has seven stores that offer vehicles under the Volkswagen Group brands in Udine, Trieste and Gorizia, northeast Italy. In 2011, VW Group took over Porsche Holding, the largest dealer group in Europe based on 2010 unit sales amounting to 565,000 and revenues that total 12.8 billion euros. Porsche Holdings offers vehicles in 40 markets throughout Europe and China.