Tampa-based Morgan Auto Group has reached an agreement to acquire Reeves Import Motorcars, also based in Tampa.
The acquisition is the largest in Morgan Automotive’s history and doubles its footprint in the luxury market, according to Brett Morgan, CEO of Morgan Auto Group (pictured above). In a recent mailing to Reeves customers the Reeves family stated that “Morgan Auto Group was the clear choice to continue our legacy.”
The acquisition includes all seven dealerships on the Reeves campus representing the BMW, Audi, Porsche, Land Rover, Maserati, Volkswagen, and Subaru brands. This adds significantly to Morgan’s roster of luxury dealerships which already included two BMW stores (Sarasota, Wesley Chapel), Lamborghini (Sarasota), Jaguar Land Rover (Ocala) and Mercedes-Benz (Gainesville).
“We are thrilled to have the responsibility of taking the Reeves organization into the future. After 16 years in business here in Tampa we have the utmost respect for the tradition and reputation that Vivian and her family have built locally,” says Morgan.
The acquisition brings Morgan Automotive to 21 Tampa Bay area locations and 53 rooftops overall, representing 30 brands. All are located within the state of Florida. Morgan is now the third-largest private automotive dealer group in the country and will finish the year eclipsing well over $5 billion in revenue.
The deal was a long time in the making, according to Morgan Automotive Chairman Larry Morgan.
“It started 15 years ago. I called Vivian Reeves [current owner] and I asked her to have lunch,” Larry Morgan says. “She replied, ‘If you have any interest in buying my business, you’re wasting your time.’ We kept in touch for all these years and today, it finally happened.”
Kelly Rogers, general manager of Reeves, is remaining on in his same role and all current Reeves employees will remain, as part of the deal. The names of the dealerships using the Reeves name will be changed, per a Reeves request. Reeves BMW becomes BMW of Tampa; Reeves Subaru becomes Subaru of North Tampa and Reeves Volkswagen will become Volkswagen of North Tampa. Maserati of Tampa and Porsche of Tampa will be renamed Maserati Tampa and Porsche Tampa respectively. The Audi and Land Rover dealership names will remain unchanged.
Reeves Import Motorcars was founded in 1971, when Vivian and her husband Allen Reeves purchased the Birdsong Volkswagen store. Vivian stayed at the helm, following her husband’s passing in January of 2000. Over the years, Vivian has remained an active philanthropist within the Tampa Bay Area and the organization recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.
“We hope we can bring new ideas to the Reeves platform, that’s how we create value,” Larry Morgan says. “The industry is changing. There are a lot of new challenges out there.”
One-off the most exciting elements of the acquisition, to Brett Morgan, is Morgan Auto expanding into the Porsche brand.
“Porsche is kind of at a crossroads. They have their successful stable of performance cars and have made major headway with electric vehicles…but they’re also doing their best to target the younger, working, female professional, which I think is exciting,” Brett Morgan says. “I think that’s something we’d like to help the brand unlock here, in the Tampa Bay area.”
The Morgan’s found their start in the automotive world not far from the Reeves dealerships. In 2005, Morgan Automotive acquired their first dealership, Precision Toyota on Fletcher Avenue. The store was renamed Toyota of Tampa Bay and is located less than a mile from the campus they will now call “Morgan Import Motorcars.” The Morgan team has successfully integrated 38 acquisitions since 2016.
Morgan Chairman, Larry Morgan, is a member of the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame and is the former CEO of Clearwater-based Tires Plus, which he sold in 2000. He has been an active member in the community and formerly served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of BayCare Health Systems.
The deal will be finalized today at noon and the transaction is effective immediately.
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