Group 1 Automotive buys high-volume Toyota store in Texas

Group 1 Automotive Inc. on Monday acquired Charles Maund Toyota in Austin, Texas, which the auto retailer expects will add $435 million in annual revenue.

Group 1, of Houston, said it renamed the dealership Toyota of North Austin. The sellers were Doug Maund, a son of the dealership’s founder, Charles Maund, and Managing Partner Jim DiMeo, said Pete DeLongchamps, Group 1’s senior vice president of manufacturer relations, financial services and public affairs.

Group 1 said the dealership, which is its 16th Toyota store in the U.S., ranks in the top 20 for Toyota new-vehicle sales volume nationally. Group 1 said it now has 13 new-vehicle franchises in central Texas.

Earl Hesterberg, Group 1’s CEO, said in a statement that the auto retailer sees a “positive growth opportunity” with the Toyota brand and in the Austin.

“The Austin market is leading the way as a home for numerous large companies which have been relocating to Texas in recent years,” Hesterberg said in the statement. “The Austin metro market has grown by more than 30 percent and added over 500,000 residents to become the nation’s fastest growing large metro area from 2010 to 2020.”

The Toyota acquisition marks the latest in dealership buy-sells for Group 1. Last month, it sold Honda and Toyota dealerships in Massachusetts.

The sale of Charles Maund Toyota comes about three months after federal prosecutors said a Maund Automotive Group partner, Erik Charles Maund, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping resulting in death, and carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm “during and in relation to a crime of violence.”

Maund is alleged to have paid three men to survey, kidnap and kill a Nashville woman and her partner, according to an indictment unsealed in December. The couple was killed in March 2020, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Last week, Erik Maund pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to federal court records.

The Austin-American Statesman reported that Erik Maund is a grandson of Charles Maund.

Group 1 ranks No. 4 on Automotive News‘ most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 140,221 new vehicles in 2020.

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