Earnhardt Volkswagen and Rodeo Kia in Metro Phoenix Sell to Garff Automotive


Kerrigan Advisors, the premier sell-side advisor and thought partner to auto dealers nationwide, represented Phoenix, Arizona-based Earnhardt Auto Centers in its sale of Earnhardt Volkswagen in Gilbert-Chandler, and Rodeo Kia in Avondale to Salt Lake City, Utah-based Ken Garff Automotive Group (the 9th largest US dealership group by 2021 new unit sales). Earnhardt Auto Centers is one of the largest US family-owned dealership groups, most recently ranked No. 18 on Automotive News’ list of the Top 150 Largest US Dealership Groups.

With this transaction, Kerrigan Advisors has now sold six dealerships on behalf of the Earnhardt family. The transaction marks the 177th dealership sale led by the firm since 2015, and the 5th Arizona dealership sold by Kerrigan Advisors since 2020, making Kerrigan Advisors the most active dealership sell-side advisor in the state.

“We continue to be impressed with Kerrigan Advisors. The team are experts, hardworking and the best in the business, especially when it comes to accurate valuations that ensure a successful sale,” said Dodge Earnhardt, Co-Owner of Earnhardt Auto Centers. “As high-volume dealerships with popular brands in greater Phoenix, it was critically important to sell our Kia and Volkswagen dealerships to a buyer who could realize the stores’ full potential. Kerrigan Advisors again found us the perfect buyer in the Ken Garff Automotive Group.”

“It was a sincere pleasure and honor to once again represent the Earnhardt family in the sale of their valuable dealerships and property,” said Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors. “The success of these dealerships, the power of their brands and the strength of the Phoenix market – one that our firm knows well – created tremendous buyer demand. We congratulate the Ken Garff Automotive Group on another successful purchase in one of the best auto retail markets in the country.”

“Kerrigan Advisors helped us find the right buyer in this market,” said Derby Earnhardt, Co-Owner of Earnhardt Auto Centers. “These dealerships are located in affluent Phoenix suburbs. Kerrigan Advisors’ extensive knowledge of the buyer community, particularly for Phoenix, ensured the right buyer for our stores. No other advisor can match Kerrigan in that regard. There’s a reason this is the 6th dealership we have sold with Kerrigan Advisors. We cannot recommend them enough to other dealers considering a sale.”

Kia, as a top brand in the Phoenix market, boasts a 40% higher market share in the Phoenix area than the national average, and Rodeo Kia is the top-ranked dealership in sales experience for all Kia stores in the market. Earnhardt Volkswagen is the 2nd highest volume VW dealership in the Phoenix metro and is located in Gilbert-Chandler, a top retail area in Phoenix.

“Despite some challenging economic headlines nationally, the Phoenix market remains one of the highest demand metros in the US, just as Kia is among the hottest brands for buyers,” said Ryan Kerrigan, Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors. “According to our recent Kerrigan Dealer Survey, Kia surpassed Toyota for the first time to become the brand dealers most expect to increase in value in 2023. There’s no doubt that Kia and Phoenix are an ideal match in terms of growth and opportunity.”

Kerrigan Advisors is the most active sell-side advisor on larger transactions in the auto retail industry, achieving the highest sale price per client of any firm over the last five years. The firm attributes its success to its team’s laser-focus on fulfilling each client’s personal and professional goals. In addition to its sell-side advisory work, the firm offers strategic consulting services to dealers and their families, including growth planning, capital raising and valuation analysis, creating value at every stage of the auto retail lifecycle.

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