AMSI eyes 200 stores after Swope purchase
October 26, 2015 – 12:01 am ET
The titans who possess a nation’s largest secretly hold dealership groups are mostly informed names: high-profile businessmen such as Rick Hendrick, John Staluppi, Herb Chambers, Rick Case, Dave Wilson, Alan Potamkin and a handful of other superstars.
But a biggest of them all appears to be a hard-nosed, hard-driving Florida businessman we have never listened of.
Through a fibre of acquisitions in new years, Terry Taylor’s obsessively sly West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company, Automotive Management Services Inc., has sensitively amassed a No. 1 private new-car dealership organisation in a nation — during slightest in terms of a series of rooftops it owns.
Taylor’s latest further is 11 stores from Sam Swope Auto Group of Louisville, Ky., one of a nation’s best-known family-owned dealership companies. The sale comes reduction than a year after a group’s founder, Sam Swope, died.
For Taylor — clearly a many assertive customer of dealerships in a U.S. these days — a Swope understanding final month was usually another day during a office.
“I trust we are adult to 115 dealerships,” pronounced Peter Stratton, Internet executive for one of Taylor’s dealerships, Jaguar Land Rover of Fort Myers in Fort Myers, Fla.
Others who know Taylor contend a series is aloft — over 140 new-vehicle dealerships, nonetheless it’s not transparent either that includes a Swope acquisition. Taylor has told acquaintances he skeleton to have 200 stores within a year, that would make his association second usually to AutoNation and Penske Automotive Group in rooftops.
Several dealers and dealership brokers who spoke on credentials contend they trust those lofty numbers are in a ballpark, nonetheless there is no open list of a stores, and Taylor declined to be interviewed for this story.
A lady who called herself Taylor’s secretary said, “We have no comment.”
If a numbers are about right, a association is a fourth-largest dealership organisation formed in a U.S. — open or private. And no other private association comes tighten to a series of stores Automotive Management Services owns.
Indeed, Taylor’s organisation has snapped adult as many as 100 stores in reduction than 10 years, mostly by tiny acquisitions.
Before shopping a Swope stores, Taylor’s biggest understanding appears to have been a squeeze of 15 stores from Alexander Automotive organisation of Franklin, Tenn., in 2011, published reports say.
Taylor’s stores are mostly in a Southeast, yet in new years, he has done acquisitions in Texas, Colorado and New York.
Once he buys a store, Taylor appears to follow a same pattern: Offer a ubiquitous manager an equity interest and afterwards take a hands-off proceed — as prolonged as a manager performs.
One dealer, a competitor, pronounced Taylor’s partnership agreement with his ubiquitous managers is strong. While a play pronounced some trust a agreement is patterned after a identical one during Van Tuyl Group, a play believes it is a other approach around.
Sheldon Sandler, handling partner of Bel Air Partners, a buy-sell advisory organisation in Hopewell, N.J., says Taylor’s organisation is like other secretly hold informal dealership groups that have generated lots of resources in new years and are removing bigger as they acquire smaller, well-run dealerships.
One thing is certain about Automotive Management Services. It has copiousness of resources.
Sandler pronounced he once approached Taylor on interest of a “Wall Street interest” who was looking to turn an equity partner in dealerships.
Taylor said, “I don’t need anyone’s money,” Sandler recalled.
He says Taylor’s arise represents a trend he expects will continue.
Dealership groups “have been so essential they have an hatred to putting that income in anyone else’s hands,” Sandler said. “They don’t wish investors and Wall Street investing” in a stock.
“They’ve generated so most giveaway income flow, they have copiousness of collateral to plow behind into dealerships, and they can steal as most income as they want.”
Brian Del Negro, ubiquitous manager of Jaguar Land Rover of Fort Myers, called Taylor a private man. “He is not a man that sticks out like Penske or some of a other guys out there,” Del Negro said. “He started with one store. we am a small fish in his pond. He’s a vast bear.”
Del Negro, who was interviewed by Automotive News about best practices during a store that he manages, lavishes regard on his vast boss.
“He’s a good guy, and it’s a good company; they don’t micromanage us,” he said.
Jaguar Land Rover of Fort Myers is one of a group’s success stories. Last year, a dealership was a top-rated Florida store on DealerRater.com, a website where business class dealerships.
The outline of Taylor as “private” appears to be something of an understatement — and it is echoed by substantially everybody who has had exchange with him.
An Automotive Management Services play who spoke to Automotive News final year though did not wish to be named, pronounced of his boss: “His name is Terry Taylor, though nobody knows his name. He’s a good automobile guy, though he’s usually a businessman. He buys a store, he puts a partner in it, and afterwards he’s gone. He doesn’t get concerned in your business as prolonged as things are using smoothly. He’ll call we once each 3 months to ask how it’s going and how your family is. But we let CSI slide, or we let increase slide, he’ll call we each day.”
One automobile sell executive who is a aspirant pronounced Taylor stores are famous for clever margins and vast and well-appointed facilities. He pronounced a stores follow manufacturers’ discipline and a organisation is a favorite of manufacturers.
Another play who knows Taylor and has worked with him describes him as a shining and inexhaustible automobile tradesman who specifically avoids a limelight and does not like partners to plead his impasse in their operations publicly.
“He pays really well, and he’s really generous,” pronounced one play who has worked with Taylor. “The customary arrangement is that a partner comes in with a 25 percent ownership, and AMSI owns 75 percent and a genuine estate. If Terry ends adult removing out of a deal, he is really inexhaustible with a buyout. But if a partner walks divided from a store, all we leave with is what we put into it.”
The play pronounced Taylor has a low believe of all aspects of a automobile business and a detailed memory for detail.
A orator for Nissan North America concurred that Automotive Management Services is among a largest dealership groups that possess Nissan code stores, though he declined to plead sum of a group.
“AMSI is a valued partner of Nissan,” pronounced orator David Reuter. “They are among a largest dealers.”
The arise of Taylor’s automobile retailing career can be traced by aged journal articles found on a Internet. In Sep 1985, he operated a Ford-AMC-Jeep-Renault dealership, according to a Daytona Beach Sunday News Journal essay during a time. It also conspicuous that he was approaching to finish a squeeze of Holton Volkswagen-Audi-Mazda in Oct of that year.
A published news in Mar 1990 settled that Taylor owned “parts of 6 dealerships in a Daytona Beach area.”
A 1996 Automotive News essay conspicuous that Taylor had 10 new-car dealerships in Florida, Tennessee and a Carolinas. Fast brazen to May 2006, and a organisation operated “about 40 dealerships” in Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Colorado, according to a buy-sell inventory in Automotive News.
And a deals kept pier up.
Last year, he purchased Hassel BMW and Hassel Mini, both in Freeport, N.Y., and Mercedes-Benz of Massapequa in Amityville, N.Y. The Freeport stores’ new names are BMW of Freeport and Mini of Freeport. The Mercedes-Benz store’s name is unchanged.
Taylor’s hatred to broadside seems to contrariety with his lifestyle. In 2010, his home, an opulent, oceanfront palace in Manalapan, Fla., with 11.5 bathrooms, a home museum and a tennis court, was posted on homesoftherich.net for sale for a cold $29.95 million.
A May 2007 Wall Street Journal story described Taylor as a “yacht flipper,” a multiply of rich vessel buyers “who sell their dear purchases mostly though holding them on a singular cruise.”
The Swope understanding is Taylor’s highest-profile merger to date, nonetheless as usual, it has perceived small attention. Patti Swope, who is a daughter of Sam Swope, declined to criticism on a acquisition. But in a matter posted on Louisville’s WAVE3 News website, she said, “The transition is, of course, bittersweet.
“My father, Sam Swope, built a smashing 63-year bequest here, though we know that AMSI will lift this association into a destiny in a conspicuous way, while honoring his memory.”
Swope Automotive Group, of that Sam Swope Auto is part, retailed 10,853 new and 14,308 used vehicles during 30 dealerships in 2014. That puts it during No. 89 on a Automotive News list of a tip 150 dealership groups formed in a U.S.
The rest of a organisation — Swope Family of Dealerships in Elizabethtown, Ky., owned and managed by Bill Swope, Carl Swope and Bob Swope — is not partial of a sale, a story on a website of The Courier-Journal in Louisville said.
Also released from a transaction are Richmond Honda and Toyota of Louisville, owned by Sam Swope Auto, a story said.
Swope Automotive revenues, that embody both Swope groups, totaled $782 million in 2014, according to a tip 150 dealership groups list.
Indeed, for Terry Taylor, a Swope stores are a esteem acquisition, though they substantially won’t be his last.
Diana T. Kurylko and John Irwin contributed to this report.
Some acquisitions by Automotive Management Services Inc. in new years
Seller: Sam Swope Auto Group, Louisville, Ky.
Brands: Buick, GMC, BMW, Cadillac, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Honda, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Lexus, Volvo
Seller: Ted Russell group, Knoxville, Tenn.
Stores: At slightest 1
Brand: Ford (Russell organisation also owns Mitsubishi, Nissan, Kia and Lincoln dealerships.)
Seller: Jim McNatt Auto Group, Denton, Texas
Brands: Honda, Toyota
Seller: Group 1 Automotive
Brands: BMW, Mini, Mercedes-Benz
Seller: Infiniti of Fort Myers, Fort Myers, Fla.
Seller: Alexander Automotive, Franklin, Tenn.
Brands: Toyota, Scion, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, GMC, Hyundai, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Cadillac
Source: Published accounts, Federal Trade Commission
You can strech Arlena Sawyers during [email protected].