Group 1 Automotive buys Toyota dealership in Austin, Texas

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March 7 (Reuters) – U.S. auto retailer Group 1 Automotive Inc (GPI.N) said on Monday it would buy Charles Maund Toyota dealership in Austin, Texas, as it is expected to add $435 million in annual revenue.

Acquisitions in the sector hit a record $8 billion last year despite predictions that the internet and Tesla Inc’s direct-to-consumer strategy would kill traditional car dealerships. Read more

“Our current financial position allows us to continue to return capital to shareholders,” said Earl J. Hesterberg, President and CEO of Group 1.

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The dealership, which will be renamed Toyota of North Austin, marks the 16th Toyota store in the company’s U.S. portfolio.

The auto retailer said that with many large companies relocating to Texas in recent years, Austin’s metro market grew more than 30% to become the nation’s fastest-growing large metro from 2010 to 2020.

Auto dealership sales have boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic as car prices jumped due to chip shortages and strong demand from consumers turning to personal transportation during the pandemic.

The auto dealership added that the combination of the Toyota brand and the Austin market represents a positive growth opportunity as Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) overtook General Motors Co (GM.N) in the States. United in 2021.

It was the first time the Detroit automaker hasn’t topped U.S. auto sales for a full year since 1931. read more

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Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bangalore; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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