Leader Auto Resources in Montreal and Resilience Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm, announced they will partner to expand Leader’s auto dealership sourcing and service business in the U.S. Through the investment by Resilience Capital, Leader’s existing U.S. business will be rebranded as DealerShop, which is headquartered in Birmingham.
DealerShop will be led by automotive industry veterans Mary Petrovich, chairman, and Bill Gryzenia, president and CEO.
“We founded LAR with the aim to create a centralized supply chain system that provides dealers with increased confidence and control in their purchasing activities,” says Robert Issenman, president and CEO of Leader. “This agreement with Resilience Capital will catapult us in our mission and provide the capital and expertise to replicate our business model in the United States.”
Leader was founded 40 years ago and is the largest sourcing partner for franchised new vehicle dealerships in North America, serving more than 2,000 dealer franchises and 270 collision centers primarily across Canada. Leader and DealerShop plan to grow by leveraging greater purchasing power, enhancing the customer experience through technology investments and process improvements, and elevating its collision center, parts, and services offerings.
“With our deep understanding and experience in the automotive services and aftermarket segments, this partnership with LAR fits the Resilience Capital portfolio perfectly as a long-term investment aimed at growth and profitability of the company through new and better services to dealer franchises and collision shops,” says Bassem Mansour, co-CEO of Resilience.
DealerShop will handle and expand all of the company’s U.S. operations. It is leasing an office in Birmingham and will establish a permanent office for its U.S. operations in metro Detroit. It will serve as a subscription-based distribution hub for supplying dealerships with business supplies including administrative supplies and services, warehouse and direct-purchase products from suppliers, capital equipment, and more. Company experts will analyze supplies, parts, equipment, and more to deliver dealers the best pricing and streamline steps for their respective purchasing departments.
“DealerShop will operate as a centralized supply chain system for essentially everything a dealership needs to effectively run its business,” says Petrovich. “With more than 17,000 dealerships nation-wide, we believe there is an incredible opportunity to help dealers and collision centers minimize administrative tasks, optimize time devoted to other core functions, and realize true cost savings in almost every area of their franchise.”
The company will use Leader’s business model, work to create stronger distribution channels, and use its network to negotiate rates locally. It will also continue to support Leader’s growth in Canada.
“We saw an opportunity to take a longstanding success story in the Canadian market, expand that strategy, and employ it on a larger scale in the U.S., where there is a growing need for reliable and efficient car and truck dealership suppliers,” says Gryzenia. “We will put an intense focus on becoming a strong partner to help dealers focus on the areas of support and service as a strategy to enhance their overall profitability.”
The majority of inventory purchased through DealerShop will be shipped directly from its planned distribution center and headquarters in the Detroit area. In some cases, items will be drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer but still ordered through DealerShop.
Current plans call for DealerShop to put an emphasis on growing the Northeast region and into the Midwest before expanding into other areas of the country.
Leader was founded in 1980.
Resilience was founded in 2001 and has since invested in 83 companies under 41 platforms.