HGreg.com, a growing Canadian auto retailer, has acquired its second U.S. Nissan franchise and one of the largest Nissan stores in the United States with the purchase of AutoNation Nissan Kendall in Palmetto Bay, Fla., for $75 million (all figures in USD).
Renamed HGreg Nissan Kendall, the dealership bought last week from the nation's largest new-vehicle retailer features a 71,500-square-foot (6,600-square-metre) building on more than 14 acres (5.5 hectares). The store employs about 100 people and HGreg.com said it's looking to hire more.
John Hairabedian, president of HGreg.com, said HGreg worked on the deal for about nine months. He said the dealership fits with its growing group of used-vehicle and new-vehicle stores in South and Central Florida.
"We couldn't pass up on a large facility like that," he told Automotive News, describing the location south of Miami. "This is a fantastic property."
Since 2010, HGreg.com has grown to five used-vehicle stores in Florida, located in Doral, Miami, Broward, Orlando, and a luxury store, HGreg Lux, in Pompano Beach. A sixth used-vehicle store, featuring 700 to 1,000 units, is set to open next month in West Palm Beach.
HGreg.com in March acquired its first new-vehicle store in the U.S. — a Nissan dealership in Delray Beach — from race car driver Pablo Peon, Hairabedian said. The store was renamed HGreg Nissan Delray.
Under the HGregoire.com name, the Quebec company also has 11 used-vehicle and 10 new-vehicle dealerships, including four Nissan stores, in Canada.
"We have a great partnership with Nissan," Hairabedian said.
Hairabedian said HGreg.com plans to be "opportunistic" on growing its used- and new-vehicle stores in the U.S., likely in markets where it already has a presence.
"We want to grow both platforms simultaneously," he said.
AutoNation has been trimming its count of Nissan stores. CEO Cheryl Miller confirmed earlier this year that AutoNation has fewer Nissan stores than it did five years ago. AutoNation Chairman Mike Jackson for years railed against automaker stair-step programs, calling out certain brands such as Nissan.