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Old 12-18-2015, 01:40 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default Sam Swope Alfa Romeo Fiat in Louisville, KY has closed

A news report from the Louisville Business First indicates that Sam Swope Alfa Romeo Fiat has closed their dealership. For the full report - click here

The report caught my attention because the Sam Swope Auto Group had recently reached an agreement to sell off many of their automotive franchises to a Florida based mega-dealer. It reminded me of the post we had from our member DealerEx who indicted a similar situation occurred in Texas when a buy/sell of several stores was completed but specifically excluded the Fiat franchise.
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:46 PM   #2
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Interesting. I do not know a lot about their operations but I think that Fiat store was a partnership with a GM who had bought into it. Perhaps this is the case with many of the Swope locations.

I do remember doing a dealer trade with someone at their CDJR store in Louisville and they had mentioned that they had lost their demos and had to purchase cars -- I wonder if that coincided with the change in ownership for some of the Northern Kentucky stores that Swope had.

Either way -- the website is still alive and kicking!
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
The report caught my attention because the Sam Swope Auto Group had recently reached an agreement to sell off many of their automotive franchises to a Florida based mega-dealer. It reminded me of the post we had from our member DealerEx who indicted a similar situation occurred in Texas when a buy/sell of several stores was completed but specifically excluded the Fiat franchise.
Here's an excerpt of the post made by DealerEx:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DealerEx View Post
Not sure if this would indicate anything about the FIAT stand alone stores or not, but found it interesting. AutoNation announced a few weeks ago that they were acquiring all of the Allen Samuels Auto Group stores in Texas.

The deal with Autonation, did NOT include the new stand alone FIAT store, but I'm sure he got a big enough price for the rest that he can eat that one and never miss it.
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mryan55 View Post
Interesting. I do not know a lot about their operations but I think that Fiat store was a partnership with a GM who had bought into it. Perhaps this is the case with many of the Swope locations.
It's so funny you say that because I was just thinking if I was a mega-dealer I might just keep the Fiat store as a proving grounds for employees who are looking to climb the latter.

If an eager employee could sign on as the GM and make a stand alone Fiat store work they could probably do just about anything.
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:57 PM   #5
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I like to think that I could make a Fiat franchise successful, but I really don't know if I could.

I guess throw new cars out the window and use the new car relationships as a front to sell some used cars.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:37 PM   #6
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P.S. There are no Sam Swope locations in Northern Kentucky. Purely a Louisville operation. Interestingly enough, although there are many mega dealers and well capitalized in Louisville, and there was private knowledge of the dealerships on the market, not one was up to bat when the deal was signed. Many of the highly paid employees were terminated early on after the senior owner died, to polish up the balance sheets.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:48 PM   #7
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I only dealer trade with the Chrysler store but I noticed staff changes with the sales managers earlier this year (maybe late last year)...
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mryan55 View Post
I like to think that I could make a Fiat franchise successful, but I really don't know if I could.

I guess throw new cars out the window and use the new car relationships as a front to sell some used cars.
Exactly - I think that's the only way to make the Fiat franchise viable.

As a GM/Owner you really can't bank on making much money on new car sales, service or parts so your best bet is to run a really impressive used car operation with a strong F&I department.

I'd love to see the average FICO score and trade equity of the customers who are buying cars at Fiat stores that are doing decent volume. I'm wondering with all of the incentive dollars if Fiat has become the place that people go to when they either have marginal credit or they're buried in their trade.

Last edited by XDCX; 12-20-2015 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Correct bad English - "your" not "you're"
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:26 AM   #9
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Interestingly enough, although there are many mega dealers and well capitalized in Louisville, and there was private knowledge of the dealerships on the market, not one was up to bat when the deal was signed.
I want to make sure I understand.

Are you saying that the fact the Sam Swope stores were for sale was widely known among the Dealers in Louisville but none of the larger stores were willing to step up and buy the stores?

I wonder if there just wasn't much local interest or whether the dealer-group from Florida was just willing to pay more money?
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #10
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I want to make sure I understand.

Are you saying that the fact the Sam Swope stores were for sale was widely known among the Dealers in Louisville but none of the larger stores were willing to step up and buy the stores?

I wonder if there just wasn't much local interest or whether the dealer-group from Florida was just willing to pay more money?
Yes, Exactly to the first sentence.

Lots of local interest, but maybe more insight to what was behind the curtain.

Just guessing....
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:55 AM   #11
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Yes, Exactly to the first sentence.

Lots of local interest, but maybe more insight to what was behind the curtain.

Just guessing....
Thanks for the information.

It was interesting to read that some of the higher paid execs within the Sam Swope Dealer Group were dismissed prior to putting the franchises up for sale. If Blue Sky is expressed as a multiple of net profits than anything you can do to increase the bottom line can make a huge difference.
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