Lithia gains opportunity in the U.K. through Jardine deal

Lithia Motors Inc. has acquired Jardine Motors Group in the United Kingdom, adding over 40 new-vehicle dealerships to Lithia’s portfolio, including luxury brands Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. This move gives Lithia the largest new-vehicle dealership group in the U.S. significant scale in an international market. The acquisition will add more than $2 billion to Lithia’s annual revenue and gives the company a foundation to grow more in the United Kingdom over time, which is helping to drive towards its $50 billion target for annual revenue in 2025. The Jardine acquisition aligns with Lithia’s goal to focus on growth in English-speaking countries, and the company previously expressed interest in growing in Australia. The deal will give Lithia exposure to the agency model of retail, in which dealers sell vehicles on behalf of some automakers at factory-set prices. The transaction also includes Jardine Select used-car stores. Lithia’s Driveway platform and GreenCars may expand to the U.K. at some point. Key leadership is staying in place, including Jardine Motors CEO Neil Williamson, who will retain that role and become a regional president of Lithia and Driveway.