April 20, 2016 — Greg Miller, the former CEO of the Larry H. Miller Automotive Group, announced last week that he has acquired Bob Baker Toyota from the Bob Baker Automotive Group in San Diego. According to media reports, Miller’s new venture is separate from the Larry H. Miller Automotive Group, the mega dealer group, he ran for seven years before stepping down in March 2015. He will remain on the LHM board, however.
Miller’s resignation last year was part of a company-wide management restructuring to better position the dealer group to make acquisitions. The company, which is comprised of nearly 60 dealerships across seven states, is one of five subsidiaries part of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT.
Following an aggressive 2014 in which it acquired several Arizona dealerships from Doug Moreland and a Toyota store in Corona, CA, the group took a timeout on the acquisition front in 2015. The restructuring did lead to speculation the group was preparing for a sale but all indications are that LHM is focused on growing its automotive empire and could add several stores in the next couple of months. It is one of the top 10 or 11 groups in the U.S. and has the financial clout and reputation among manufacturers to be aggressive buying stores.
Regarding Miller, he’s the son of LHM’s founder, Larry Miller, who passed away in 2009. It’s not unheard for children whose fathers started what became large dealer groups to go out on their own. Two of Roger Penske’s sons, Greg and Roger Jr. have their own successful dealer groups — both in California. Also, Franklin and Mark McLarty, sons of Thomas “Mack” McLarty, both run their own billion-dollar dealer groups headquartered in Little Rock.
Following the sale of its Toyota store, Bob Baker Automotive still sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Mazda and Subaru brands in Carlsbad, CA. There is no word on whether those stores are also for sale.
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