Car-Mart to acquire 2 dealerships in Tennessee

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 1,754 views 

Rogers-based America’s Car-Mart announced Wednesday (Dec. 15) a deal to purchase the dealership assets of Smart Auto Inc., Smart Auto Johnson City Inc. and Bright Motors Co. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As a result of the deal, the buy here, pay here used car dealer will gain dealership locations in Johnson City, Tenn., and Knoxville, Tenn. The existing finance receivables will be excluded from the transaction and will be collected by the seller. The company expects to close on the Johnson City location by the end of 2021 and the Knoxville location by Dec. 31, 2022.

“We are very excited to welcome Smart Auto into the Car-Mart family,” said Jeff Williams, president and CEO of Car-Mart. “Smart Auto brings a highly experienced and talented team of associates while also helping to create a stronger presence and expanding our footprint in Tennessee. We are excited for the opportunities to grow our customers in this market.”

Smart Auto is owned by Vincent Keller and was established in 2005.

“Their values align perfectly with ours,” Williams added. “We are looking forward to getting to know their customers and help to keep them on the road. The Smart Auto team is professional, capable and focuses on providing quality, affordable vehicles to their customers. Smart Auto will be a fantastic addition to our business and will help us build a better future for the company, our associates and our customers.”

On Nov. 29, Car-Mart opened its 153rd dealership in Norman, Okla. In Car-Mart’s most recent earnings report, Williams noted that the company would continue to look for acquisition opportunities. In August, Car-Mart agreed to acquire the operations of The Carman L.L.C. from Jake Haller in El Reno, Okla. The deal provided Car-Mart with a new dealership and allowed Haller to focus on supplying the company with vehicles.

In December 2019, Car-Mart announced the acquisition of Taylor Motor Co. and Auto Credit of Southern Illinois. Car-Mart gained three dealerships and its first in Illinois. The 2019 deal marked the first time Car-Mart purchased a group of dealerships. However, the company has purchased some one location dealerships previously.

Shares of Car-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT) closed Wednesday at $108.15, up 71 cents or 0.66%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $95.12 and $177.45.