Lithia Motors Acquires Top Buick GMC Dealerships in Memphis

The sale includes Sunrise Wolfchase Buick GMC and Sunrise Buick GMC Collierville.


Lithia Motors, based in Medford, OR, purchased Memphis, TN-based Sunrise Auto Group’s premier Buick GMC dealerships, in a deal announced by Kerrigan Advisors, which represented Sunrise Auto Group.

The transaction involved Sunrise Wolfchase Buick GMC, the No. 1 Buick GMC dealership in Memphis, and Sunrise Buick GMC Collierville. The acquisition marks Lithia Motors' entry into a new market, aligning with its growth strategy and expanding its footprint in the high-demand Southern states. The dealerships' strong performance and the favorable economic environment in Tennessee promise continued success under Lithia's ownership.

Bob Berkheimer started Sunrise Auto Group 35 years ago in Memphis, the third largest metro area in the Southeast and home to a flourishing trade and transportation sector. Sunrise is the largest Buick GMC dealer in Memphis, capturing more than 75% of Memphis’ Buick GMC sales. Wolfchase is the No. 4 Buick GMC dealership in Tennessee, and Buick GMC Collierville is the No. 4 Buick GMC dealership in Memphis and No. 7 in Tennessee.

Sunrise is a decorated General Motors dealer, having earned several Mark of Excellence and Dealer of the Year awards. In addition, Buick, GMC and Chevrolet are top performing domestic brands, ranking high in sales growth in 2023 and in the Kerrigan Advisors 2023 Dealer Survey for franchise valuation growth expectations in 2024.

"First and foremost, I want to thank our employees and the Memphis community for their steadfast support and loyalty over the past few decades," said Berkheimer, president of Sunrise Auto Group. "As I contemplated this sale, it was critical to find the right buyer to continue our legacy here. I am confident that the dealerships, including my employees, will continue to see great success under Lithia’s ownership.

“We knew that the buy/sell process would be complicated, and we wanted to get it right, so we hired the firm that was recommended as the best in the business -- Kerrigan Advisors," Berkheimer said. "And they more than lived up to their reputation, guiding us with care, expertise and acumen every step of the way, completing the transaction.”

“Kerrigan Advisors was extremely honored to represent Bob’s legacy in Memphis through the strategic sale of these high performing General Motors franchises to Lithia Motors, a new market for the company,” said Gabe Robleto, senior vice president, sell-side advisory at Kerrigan Advisors. “It was a pleasure to work with him on this sale and identify the perfect buyer in Lithia for these powerhouse dealerships in the very attractive Tennessee market.”

Stephen Dietrich and Brooke Sizer of Holland & Knight served as legal counsel to the seller.

Kerrigan Advisors has now facilitated the sale of more than 80 franchises in the Southeast since 2020.

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