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Group 1 Automotive

Group 1 Automotive, Inc.
Traded as NYSE: GPI
CIK: 0001031203
Industry Car dealership
Founded 1995
Headquarters Houston, TX, U.S.
Key people
Earl J. Hesterberg (CEO)

Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: GPI) is a Fortune 500 company, founded in 1995,[1] and became public in 1997. It has its headquarters in the One Memorial City Plaza building in the Memorial City district of Houston, Texas.[2][3]

As of 2013, Group 1 became the third largest automotive retailer in the United States[4] and as of 2014 the company owns 116 dealerships in 15 states, 17 in Brazil and 17 in the UK.[5]

The company is led by former Ford Motor Company executive, Earl J. Hesterberg.[6]

Formation of Group 1 in 1995

Group 1's chairman, president, and chief executive officer, B.B. (Ben) Hollingsworth, Jr., was the one with Wall Street experience among the men who founded the company in 1995.

In 1995 the seeds of Group 1 were planted when Hollingsworth was invited by Houston automobile dealers Sterling McCall and Charles Smith to meet at The Forest Club, an exclusive country club located in West Houston. The two men wanted to discuss a dealership roll-up and sought advice from Hollingsworth about the implications of taking such a venture public. As Hollingsworth recalled, "They had great dealerships, but they couldn't find Wall Street with a street map." What they did possess was a wealth of experience in the car business. Smith's family, in fact, had been involved in automotive retailing since 1917 and Charles Smith had more than a quarter-century of experience himself. The family's group of Texas dealerships generated revenues of more than $200 million. McCall had a similar level of experience; he was the first to be granted a stand-alone exclusive Toyota dealership in Houston. The three men agreed to go into business together and in December 1995 formed Group 1 Automotive, Inc. to acquire automobile dealerships and their related operations. For the family-owned dealerships, going public had an obvious appeal: it provided an exit strategy as well as security. Instead of having all of their wealth tied up in inventory, they would now have stock and the ability to become liquid if necessary.

Founding Groups

THE HOWARD GROUP : The Howard Group is one of the largest dealership groups in Oklahoma, consisting of Acura, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, GMC, Honda, Isuzu, Jeep, Mazda, Plymouth, Pontiac and Toyota dealerships located in Oklahoma City. Additionally, the Howard Group has entered into an agreement to purchase a Chevrolet dealership in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the assumption of its liabilities which are currently approximately $2.5 million. See "The Acquisitions". Mr. Howard, the principal owner, has been involved in the automotive retailing industry for over 28 years.

MCCALL GROUP : The McCall Group consists of the second largest Toyota dealership in the United States, as ranked by 1996 new retail unit sales, and one Lexus dealership, both located in Houston, Texas. Mr. McCall, the principal owner, has been involved in the automotive retailing industry for more than 27 years, having been granted the first stand-alone exclusive Toyota dealership in Houston, Texas.

SMITH GROUP : The Smith Group consists of one Acura dealership in Houston, Texas, Honda, GMC, Oldsmobile, Mitsubishi, Lincoln, Mercury and Kia dealerships in Beaumont, Texas, a Nissan dealership in Richardson, Texas (a suburb of Dallas) and two Nissan dealerships, one Mitsubishi dealership and one Suzuki dealership in the Austin, Texas area. The Smith family has been in the automotive retailing business since 1917.

KINGWOOD GROUP : The Kingwood Group consists of one Honda and one Isuzu dealership in Kingwood, Texas, a suburb of Houston. The Honda dealership was established in 1989 and the Isuzu dealership was established in 1996. Mr. Hollingsworth and John H. Duncan, a director of the Combined Company, own interests in these dealerships.

Principal Subsidiaries: Bob Howard Automotive--H, Inc.; Luby Chevrolet; Foyt Motors, Inc.; McCall-TL, Ltd.; Mike Smith Automotive--N, Inc.; Ira Automotive Group, LLC.

Principal Competitors: AutoNation USA; Sonic Automotive; United Auto Group, Inc.


Group 1 Automotive has dealerships in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Group 1 has acquired various UK dealers in 2012 to 2014.[7] Group 1 purchased Brazilian Automotive Group in 2013.


  1. ^ "Group 1 Automotive Inc.". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "map_mcity_lg.gif." Memorial City. Retrieved on December 8, 2009.
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Group 1 Automotive. Retrieved on December 8, 2009.
  4. ^ "Group 1 snaps up 3 more dealerships in the UK". Automotive News. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Investor Relations". Group 1 Automotive. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Earl Hesterberg". Forbes. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Elms BMW and MINI dealership in Bedford sold to American company". Bedford Today. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2015.

External links

  • Group 1 Automotive
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