Charlotte auto retailer Sonic Automotive is going whole hog and buying the Harley dealership in South Dakota that hosts the world’s largest motorcycle rally.
A Charlotte-based auto retailer is now the owner of a Harley dealership where the largest motorcycle rally in the world has been held for over 80 years.
Sonic Automotive Inc. said Wednesday it purchased Black Hills Harley-Davidson, in Rapid City, South Dakota, home to the iconic Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that draws 500,000 bikers each year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The South Dakota shop is known as the top shopping destination for rallygoers, according to Sonic.
It’s the latest acquisition for Sonic’s newly created powersports segment, which is expected to add $200 million in annual revenue this year, company CEO David Smith said during Wednesday’s earnings call. This industry sector is worth $34 billion, he said.
“We are very optimistic about the growth opportunity in this space,” Smith said.
It’s Sonic’s 13th dealership. It had acquired Mancuso Powersports in Houston in August and Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Temple, Texas, in January 2022. Along with Harley-Davidson, other brands are Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Polaris, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Ducati, BMW, Honda, Indian Motorcycle and Yamaha.
“The brand loyalty and the customer loyalty, it’s absolutely incredible,” Smith said. He said these stores and brands are high-quality, “the best of the best.”
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Sonic’s earnings report
On Wednesday, Sonic reported a record annual revenue in 2022 of $14 billion, up 13% year-over-year. The auto retailer also reported a record fourth-quarterly revenue of $3.6 billion, up 13% year-over-year.
The Fortune 500 company also has been focused on expanding its EchoPark Automotive segment, launched seven years ago.
The company reported record fourth-quarter revenues of $589.3 million, up 2% year-over-year, and all-time record annual revenues of $2.5 billion, up 5% year-over-year.
EchoPark offers used one- to four-year-old cars at a discount and allows people to buy and sell cars through its website or retail locations.
Two years ago, Sonic Automotive bought Texas-based RFJ Auto Partners for $700 million, calling it “one of the largest transactions in automotive retail history.”
Founded in 1997, Sonic is one of the largest automotive retailers in the U.S. with 175 new and used dealership locations in 25 states and 17 collision centers, according to a report on the company’s website.
This story was originally published February 16, 2023, 12:04 PM.