Megaretailer Asbury Automotive Group Inc. divested nine dealerships on Dec. 5, selling the North Carolina stores to Hudson Automotive Group of Charleston, S.C., according to Hudson President David Hudson.
Representatives from Asbury Automotive didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.
Hudson told Automotive News that his company bought six dealerships from Asbury in Greensboro, N.C., representing the Acura, BMW, Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, Honda, Nissan and Volvo brands. A collision shop and parking lot in that city were included in the transaction. Hudson Automotive also acquired Dodge-Ram and Ford stores in Fayetteville, N.C., from Asbury, plus a Honda store in Durham, N.C. Asbury had operated the dealerships under its Crown Automotive regional brand.
Hudson said company leaders are excited about the new locations, describing the stores’ franchises as great brands in a great market. The transaction gives Hudson Automotive its first BMW and Volvo stores.
“We’ve been in North Carolina for many years, and we’re excited to continue to grow in that area,” Hudson said.
Until the Asbury deal, it had been a mostly quiet year on the transaction front for Hudson Automotive. Hudson on Feb. 28 purchased Summerville Ford in South Carolina. The dealership group now has more than 40 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama and Louisiana, Hudson said.
It wasn’t the dealership group’s first deal with Asbury. Hudson Automotive in September 2020 purchased a Lexus dealership in Greenville, S.C., from Asbury, Hudson said.
For Asbury, it’s the group’s second big batch of divestitures this year. In February and March, Asbury sold seven stores to comply with automaker store-count limits following its big acquisitions in 2021 of Larry H. Miller Dealerships and Stevinson Automotive. Asbury leaders in August said the company was back in the market to buy dealerships again after pausing to work on reducing its debt ratio in the aftermath of those large purchases.
Asbury of Duluth, Ga., ranked No. 5 on Automotive News’ most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 109,910 new vehicles in 2021.
Hudson Automotive has renamed the new dealerships Greensboro Acura, BMW of Greensboro, Greensboro Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, Greensboro Honda, Greensboro Nissan, Volvo Cars Greensboro, Fayetteville Dodge-Ram, Liberty Ford of Fayetteville and Southpoint Honda.