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Old 04-16-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
XDCX
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Default New Fiat/Alfa Romeo store to open in Waco, TX

News reports indicate that Allen Samuels CJDRF will be splitting off their Fiat franchise and building a new dealership to house the Fiat/Alfa Romeo franchise. For the full report - click here The 21,000 square foot facility on five acres is expected to cost about $6 Million inclusive of real estate.

I don't know the market or how space constrained the existing Allen Samuels CJDR location may be, but to me a $6 Million investment into a Fiat/Alfa franchise seems like a curious investment.

I doubt that Allen Samuels has been getting any pressure from Auburn Hills because it wouldn't make sense, in my opinion, to pressure a dealer to commit to a single point Fiat/Alfa store given the franchise's historic sales volume and prospects for the future.

Regardless of my opinion, Allen Samuels is obviously a successful operation and they must see a potential ROI that eludes me.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
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SUGGEST: Build the building with a ZIPPER on the front to convert to a winner as soon as one becomes available. 2 and 1/2 acres will be for used cars right now.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
I don't know the market or how space constrained the existing Allen Samuels CJDR location may be, but to me a $6 Million investment into a Fiat/Alfa franchise seems like a curious investment.

I doubt that Allen Samuels has been getting any pressure from Auburn Hills because it wouldn't make sense, in my opinion, to pressure a dealer to commit to a single point Fiat/Alfa store given the franchise's historic sales volume and prospects for the future.

Regardless of my opinion, Allen Samuels is obviously a successful operation and they must see a potential ROI that eludes me.
It's always difficult to know exactly what is going on with Allen's dealerships. Lots of behind the scene deals with the factories over the years. I agree, that at face value, building a 6 million $ stand alone facility for Alfa and Fiat seems to makes no sense. The construction of the current facility housing Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep was announced in July of 2009 when Allen was "gifted" the 3 franchises after 3 long time (42 years for Sam Nay's Waco Dodge, 31 years for Marstaller Jeep, and 27 years for Jeff Hunter Chrysler) stand alone dealers were all terminated on May 9th as part of the 789. In June, just 30 days after they were all terminated, it was announced that Samuels would build a new facility on the new "Motor Mile" area of Loop 340 to house all the brands. Given how quickly the new deal with Allen happened, it sure appeared to have been a "done deal" before the June 9th terminations were announced. When Fiat was first announced and FCA said all the dealers would have to have separate "Salons" for the brand, Allen's did not. May have been a separate deal made at that time which included a commitment to do so at a later date. I've known Allen since he was sales manager for Bobby Steakley's Chevy store in Waco back in the late 70's, which he eventually wound up purchasing years later and added Mercedes Benz there also. He has been phenomenally successful and benefited from some great timing in buying and selling his stores. At the height of the market in around 2000, he put together a package deal for all of his stores ( I think it was about 18 at the time) and the general managers and dealer operators formed a group and purchased all the stores from the parent company and continued to operate under the Allen Samuels name. Allen got a ton of money up front from a financing deal he helped them arrange, and carried a note for the balance. When the credit crunch hit in 2008 and the car market crashed the new syndicate couldn't meet the payments and Allen got all the dealerships back.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DealerEx View Post
It's always difficult to know exactly what is going on with Allen's dealerships. Lots of behind the scene deals with the factories over the years. I agree, that at face value, building a 6 million $ stand alone facility for Alfa and Fiat seems to makes no sense. The construction of the current facility housing Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep was announced in July of 2009 when Allen was "gifted" the 3 franchises after 3 long time (42 years for Sam Nay's Waco Dodge, 31 years for Marstaller Jeep, and 27 years for Jeff Hunter Chrysler) stand alone dealers were all terminated on May 9th as part of the 789. In June, just 30 days after they were all terminated, it was announced that Samuels would build a new facility on the new "Motor Mile" area of Loop 340 to house all the brands. Given how quickly the new deal with Allen happened, it sure appeared to have been a "done deal" before the June 9th terminations were announced. When Fiat was first announced and FCA said all the dealers would have to have separate "Salons" for the brand, Allen's did not. May have been a separate deal made at that time which included a commitment to do so at a later date.
I agree with your assessment - it seems like Chrysler's plans for the Waco market were well established - they just needed to wait for their "once in a lifetime" opportunity to wipe out three longstanding OLDCO dealers so they could appoint their new NEWCO dealer.

The fact that Samuels was allowed to add Fiat to his existing CJDR facility may have been part of a term agreement. Perhaps Samuel agreed to build a stand alone Fiat/Alfa point at a later date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DealerEx View Post
I've known Allen since he was sales manager for Bobby Steakley's Chevy store in Waco back in the late 70's, which he eventually wound up purchasing years later and added Mercedes Benz there also. He has been phenomenally successful and benefited from some great timing in buying and selling his stores. At the height of the market in around 2000, he put together a package deal for all of his stores ( I think it was about 18 at the time) and the general managers and dealer operators formed a group and purchased all the stores from the parent company and continued to operate under the Allen Samuels name. Allen got a ton of money up front from a financing deal he helped them arrange, and carried a note for the balance. When the credit crunch hit in 2008 and the car market crashed the new syndicate couldn't meet the payments and Allen got all the dealerships back.
Wow, that is awesome timing.

I remember the same thing happened to some of the dealers who sold to the public dealer groups when the Blue Sky value of stores was nearing the stratosphere and then bought them back when the market tanked. (I think "Dealin Doug Moreland and the Lithia Group are an example of this.)
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