There will be consolidation this year but not the kind the market is accustomed to. I expect two big events to impact the top dealers list for 2015:

  • A top-tier megadealer will consolidate with another top-tier megadealer.
  • Two or more public offerings of new dealership groups will be made by year’s end.

While not every group will voluntarily disclose revenue and performance information to be considered for the 2014 WardsAuto Megadealer 100 list, there are some interesting things to note about what’s on the latest list.

At first glance, no big surprises. As always, AutoNation occupies the top spot. The ranking of dealership groups by size over the past 10 years resembles the American League standings in the 1950s, with the Yankees always in first place, while the teams interchanged runner-up positions from season to season.

For the last decade, the top 10 essentially has been dominated by publicly owned companies, along with privately owned Van Tuyl and Hendrick. While there will be interchanging rankings from No.3-No.9 almost every year, you don’t really start to see significant changes to the list until you look below the top 10.

But there are some interesting developments from the top 6 players compared to last year.

AutoNation added seven stores and increased its revenues. With 228 stores, it has an average annual per-store revenue of $76.8 million; representing an increase of $5.9 million from the prior year. Comparing this year’s growth to that of No.2 Penske presents an interesting contrast.

Penske added 54 stores and increased revenues $1.5 billion from last year. Not all 54 stores are in the U.S. Penske says its 194 total store count includes outlets in U.K., Germany and Italy.