Sojitz Expands Car Dealership Business in the San Francisco Bay Area

-Creates Three-Store Alliance through Acquisition of BMW Dealership Franchise-

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Aug. 7, 2015
Sojitz Corporation

Sojitz Corporation (“Sojitz”) has acquired the franchise rights and assets of Mill Valley Imports, Inc. (dba Sonnen BMW; “Mill Valley Imports”), an authorized BMW brand dealership in San Rafael, California.

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 【BMW of San Rafael (formerly Sonnen BMW) Center Facility】

Mill Valley Imports is located in a high-income area. Since its founding in 1977, it has built a solid customer base through sales of BMW brand vehicles.In 1987, Sojitz acquired a controlling interest in Weatherford Motors, Inc. (“Weatherford”), an authorized BMW brand dealership based in Berkeley, California. This has enabled Sojitz to build a wealth of business acumen and a strong track record of sales in the area. Later, in 2014, Sojitz transformed the Bay Area operations into a two-store setup through acquisition of Import Motors, Inc. (“Import Motors”), an authorized BMW and MINI brand dealership based in Concord.

The Californian automotive market is the largest in the United States, accounting for more than 10% of the country’s population and GDP. Furthermore, the California boasts  higher market share for premium brand vehicles than anywhere in the U.S., and this market is expect to grow further in the future. The acquisition of the Mill Valley franchise marks the creation of a three-store setup in the San Francisco Bay Area, and by pursuing synergy between these three dealerships, Sojitz will aim for higher sales, better service, streamlined management, and increased business value.

Sojitz will construct a stable earnings foundation in the mid- to long-term by utilizing the abundant experience gained through Weatherford and Import Motors to pursue a stronger dealership business in the continuously growing U.S. auto market. Additionally, Sojitz is aiming to expand the dealership business into new markets outside of the U.S. to create new opportunities for future growth.

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     【Map of BMW and MINI dealerships in the San Francisco Bay Area】

 

Mill Valley Motors, Inc. – Overview

Established 2015
※Sojitz established Mill Valley Motors, Inc. as a new company, then acquired the franchise rights and assets of Mill Valley Imports (dba formerly Sonnen BMW).
Location San Rafael, California, USA
Representative Director Luis Garcia
Number of Employees Approx. 150
Main Business Retail sale of BMW brand automobiles
(dba BMW of San Rafael)
Units Sold in 2014 Approx. 2,000 vehicles

Import Motors, Inc. – Overview

Established 1974
Year Acquired Acquired in 2014 by Sojitz
Location Concord, California, USA
Representative Director Luis Garcia
Number of Employees Approx. 170
Main Business Retail sales of BMW and MINI brand automobiles
(dba BMW Concord, MINI of Concord)
Units Sold in 2014 Approx. 3,200

Weatherford Motors, Inc. – Overview

Year Acquired Acquired in 1987 by Sojitz
(formerly Nissho Iwai Corporation)
Location Berkeley, California, USA
Representative Director Luis Garcia
Number of Employees Approx. 150
Main Business Retail sales of BMW brand automobiles
(dba Weatherford BMW of Berkeley)
Units Sold in 2014 Approx. 2,500
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