Lithia extended its new car sales lead over AutoNation throughout 2022. Lithia said by the first quarter he led with 8,500 cars, and by mid-year he had expanded to 19,362. Through the third quarter, Lithia increased his 33,540 units.
Both companies were impacted by a shortage of new vehicle supply in 2022, resulting in a significant drop in same-store new vehicle sales for both companies. AutoNation reported the lowest number of new vehicle days among its peers in 2021 and 2022.
AutoNation CEO Mike Manley said on Feb. 17 that retailer inventories and inventories are “still very low.”
AutoNation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the drop to second place.
In the past, and most recently until January 20th, AutoNation billed itself as “America’s Largest and Most Admired Auto Retailer.” But in his two most recent press releases for AutoNation, including its fourth-quarter earnings call, issued Feb. 17, the label was simply changed to “America’s Most Admired Auto Retailer.” .
AutoNation’s top spot is over for the first time in a quarter of a century.
Originally known as Republic Industries Inc., AutoNation has been number one in new vehicle sales since 1997, tracked by Automotive News in its annual list of Top Dealer Groups.
Lithia, on the other hand, climbed the rankings and entered the top 10 in 1999 at number 10. Lithia has long been the lowest ranked among the six major public dealer groups, moving between 9th and 8th between 2000 and 2014. Buy DCH Auto Group and binge. Lithia was 5th in 2015, 4th in 2016 and 3rd in 2018.
Lithia overtakes Penske Automotive Group Inc. for second place in 2021.
CJ Moore and Mark Holmer contributed to this report.
https://www.autonews.com/dealers/lithia-motors-knocks-autonation-no-1-sales-pedestal Lithia Motors pulls AutoNation off the No. 1 selling pedestal