Penske interested in buying Daimler dealerships in Germany

Article by Anita Panait, on May 28, 2013

Penske Automotive Group Inc. may acquire some dealership in Germany that Daimler mulls selling, Anthony Pordon, Penske's executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, wrote in an e-mail to Automotive News. Citing sources familiar with Daimler’s thinking, Reuters reported that the German carmaker may sell four dealerships in the country in order to boost falling profits.

The source added that Daimler may sell more dealerships if the initial sale succeeds. Pordon wrote to Automotive News while he doesn't know much about Daimler's intentions, Penske would be interested in some of potential dealerships since they already have a presence in the German marketplace. According to its Web site, Penske owns or holds a stake in 35 dealerships in Germany. Penske’s dealerships sell 11 brands, including Volkswagen Group, Toyota, Lexus, Ferrari and Maserati.

Penske added $750 million in estimated annualized revenue by acquiring several dealerships in 2012. The second-largest dealership group in the United States is eyeing to post over 10-percent jump in revenues in 2013 through a mixed strategy of acquisitions and higher same-store sales, chief executive Roger Penske has said. In January 2013, Penske’s CEO disclosed plans to acquire more dealerships in the US, Western Europe and Brazil, while observing the situation in China.

The group reiterated its 2013 full year targets during its first-quarter earnings call in April. Reuters reported that Daimler relies on its company-owned dealerships for a bigger chunk of domestic sales than rivals BMW AG or Audi AG.

Daimler owns 98 Mercedes-Benz dealerships that account for around 50% of its sales in Germany. BMW, meanwhile, has 43 company-owned dealerships that account for around a quarter of its domestic sales. Audi's 16 company-owned stores account for less than 10 percent of its sales in Germany. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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