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Buy-sells shuffle dealership rankings

Holman up 35 spots after acquiring Kuni

It's a good time to buy dealerships, says Brian Bates, CEO of Holman Consumer Services, the branch of Holman Enterprises that includes Holman Automotive Group Inc. Holman Automotive acquired the 14-rooftop Kuni Automotive in July. The acquisition bumped Holman 35 spots higher on Automotive News' annual Top 150 Dealership Groups list, which ranks dealership groups based in the U.S. by new-unit retail sales. Holman accelerated to No. 16 from No. 51 on the prior list. "The automotive market is in a great space in the economy," said Bates. "It's got a long, viable future, and the foundation is very solid."

Acquisitions such as Holman's of Kuni were behind a number of changes in this year's rankings. And no wonder: Last year had the second most buy-sell activity in history, after 2015, with 223 transactions representing 350 franchises, said Erin Kerrigan, managing director for Kerrigan Advisors.

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