Monday, July 15, 2024

Hollywood Kia Breaks Record in Sale: A Landmark Case of Business Acumen and Strategic Leadership in Automotive Dealerships


Haig Partners Serves as the Exclusive Sell-Side Advisor on the Sale of Hollywood Kia, Setting a Record for the Highest Price for a Kia Dealership

Haig Partners LLC, renowned as the foremost buy-sell advisory firm for the automotive, heavy truck, and RV dealers across the United States, recently played a pivotal role as the exclusive sell-side advisor in the landmark sale of Hollywood Kia to Morgan Auto Group. This transaction has notably set a new benchmark for the highest “blue sky” value ever paid for a Kia dealership — a testament to Hollywood Kia’s extraordinary standing as the nation’s second highest-volume Kia dealership.

Located in the vibrant city of Hollywood, FL, Hollywood Kia flourished under the ownership of Joe Levy and Steve Gutstein, carving out a reputation for excellence in sales and service. Steve Gutstein, who has been a transformative figure in the dealership since becoming a partner and assuming the role of general manager in 2019, has been instrumental in steering Hollywood Kia to numerous accolades. The dealership’s journey to the pinnacle of Kia dealership valuations is a narrative of strategic leadership and market acumen.

Joe Levy’s entrepreneurial spirit dates back to his college days in 1991, when he embarked on a successful venture selling reconditioned mopeds to fellow students. His business acumen grew over the years, culminating in the acquisition of Hollywood Kia. At acquisition, the dealership was grappling with significant losses, but Levy’s innovative approach, broadening the inventory to include pre-owned vehicles and various equipment, transformed it into one of Broward County’s premier used car dealerships. This was prior to obtaining the Kia franchise in 2008 which marked the beginning of a new era for Hollywood Kia.

The dealership’s success trajectory is attributed to several key factors: Kia’s evolution into a brand associated with highly desirable products, Steve Gutstein’s partnership and leadership which fostered a high-performing culture and exceptional customer service, and the revitalization of Hollywood, FL, attracting thousands of new residents and potential customers.

Reflecting on the sale, Joe Levy shared, “Our decision to focus on real estate development marks the end of a significant chapter for our family with Hollywood Kia. We are confident that under the stewardship of Morgan Auto Group, and with Steve Gutstein’s continued leadership, the dealership is poised for even greater success. The professionalism and expertise of our buy-sell advisors and legal team, led by Alan Haig and Alex Kurkin respectively, played a crucial role in navigating this deal to a successful conclusion.”

Morgan Auto Group’s acquisition of Hollywood Kia is a strategic addition to their portfolio, now totaling 77 dealerships and reinforcing their position as the largest dealership group in Florida. Larry Morgan, Chairman at Morgan Auto Group, expressed enthusiasm for the team’s future under the combined leadership of the existing and new management.

The transaction underscores Hollywood Kia’s impressive transformation from a struggling establishment to a powerhouse in the auto retail industry, a narrative championed by Joe Levy’s visionary leadership and Steve Gutstein’s operational excellence. Alan Haig, President of Haig Partners, highlighted this entrepreneurial success story, emphasizing the dealership’s remarkable achievement in sales volume and the overall growth of Kia’s market share and franchise value.

The professionals at Haig Partners, with their extensive experience and deep industry connections, have facilitated the purchase or sale of 29 dealerships in 2024 alone, marking a period of significant achievements for the firm. Their legacy includes guiding dealership owners through the intricacies of high-value transactions, enhancing the value of their clients’ life work, and contributing to setting record-high sales prices across numerous dealership sales in Florida and beyond.

Haig Partners is recognized for its unparalleled expertise in the buy-sell advisory sector, supporting owners of high-value dealerships in maximizing their business value and navigating the sale process with confidentiality and strategic insight. The firm’s distinguished track record and thought leadership in the automotive retail sector, including authoring The Haig Report and co-authoring NADA’s guide on dealership transactions, underscore its authority and dedication to excellence in dealership advisory services.

Natalie Kimura
Natalie Kimura
Natalie Kimura is a business correspondent known for her in-depth interviews and feature articles. With a background in International Business and a passion for global economic affairs, Natalie has traveled extensively, providing her with a unique perspective on international trade and global market dynamics. She started her career in Tokyo, contributing to various financial journals, and later moved to London to expand her expertise in European markets. Natalie's expertise lies in international trade agreements, foreign investment patterns, and economic policy analysis.

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