Buffett Enters Dealership Business With Van Tuyl Group Purchase

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
buffett enters dealership business with van tuyl group purchase

Warren Buffett — no relation to Jimmy — is a lot of things: investor extraordinaire, railroad magnate, newspaper mogul, hip-hop enthusiast et al. As of last Thursday, however, he picked up a new title: master auto dealer.

Bloomberg reports Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased Arizona-based Van Tuyl Group, the largest privately owned auto dealership group in the United States, for an undisclosed sum. Namesake Larry Van Tuyl will continue to run the show, especially with Buffett’s plans to scale operations significantly.

The purchase is a bet on the consolidation of the dealership industry overall, as a handful of groups — like AutoNation, Group 1 and Penske — come into more dealerships; Van Tuyl operates 78 in 10 states, including Arizona, Texas and Nebraska.

Once the paperwork is sorted in Q1 2015, the group will be renamed Berkshire Hathaway Automotive. The group has over $8 billion in revenue.

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  • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Oct 06, 2014

    "The purchase is a bet on the consolidation of the dealership industry overall." This guy started out in insurance IIRC, its a safe bet he's probably right.

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    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Oct 06, 2014

      That is correct. He owns the Berkshire-Hathaway conglomerate which includes insurance and reinsurance companies.

  • Gsally Gsally on Oct 06, 2014

    > renamed Berkshire Hathaway Automotive This is the mistake. With the use of the same name for a housing brokerage, and as I hear, other acquisitions, the general public will become aware of exactly how much this one guy controls resulting in political problems. Keeping the names of the purchased companies lets BH fly under the radar. Berkshire Hathaway Auto Insurance Berkshire Hathaway Chocolate Berkshire Hathaway Ice Cream and Deep-Fried Stuff Berkshire Hathaway Railways Berkshire Hathaway Modular Homes Berkshire Hathaway Condiments Berkshire Hathaway Footware More here: http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/subs/sublinks.html It seems that Berkshire Hathaway keeps it's name off already established brands (GEICO, Dairy Queen, Sees) but once public awareness is piqued, it's hard to un-pique; plus, the people making the brand decisions may continue to use the Berkshire Hathaway to rename established brands at BH becomes more common.

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    • PandaBear PandaBear on Oct 07, 2014

      I'd imagine he would use GEICO dealership group instead to promote the brands of each other.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Oct 06, 2014

    Caption: Jay-Z "Ey where's Bey at?" Buffett "Look at this tie. This is Burberry. Can't compete with this ish!"

  • Gasser Gasser on Oct 06, 2014

    Jimmy Buffet and Warren Buffet are cousins.