Celebrating a Decade of Success in 2022, North America’s Largest Dealer M&A Firm Is Looking To Continue Its Growth in 2023
By Farid Ahmad
As the year ends, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions team’s long list of accomplishments to date and what we can look forward to—what I think—will be an even more exciting and rewarding 2023.
In what we all can agree was a hectic and productive 2022 in the automotive industry, DSMA celebrated its 10th anniversary. In addition to the long list of accomplishments over the past decade, I am proud to say our growing DSMA team has conducted over 1,500 valuations and nearly 400 transactions in North America since our inception. We topped that off in 2022 by selling one dealership every three days!
Last year also saw DSMA integrate more vertical markets into our business. Organizations see us as retail, new-car franchise specialists, but we’ve branched into the recreational vehicle, body shop, and trucking segments. This expansion was highlighted by the sale of a Mack/Volvo truck group with eight locations—the most prominent trucking franchise transaction the province of Québec has ever seen!
This year also saw DSMA launch our new QUOTUS technology platform. Four years in development, QUOTUS will allow organizations to tap into millions of data points in the automotive retail industry to benchmark themselves. A dealer version is scheduled to be launched in early 2023, and several manufacturers and lenders have already signed on.
We are also very proud that the DSMA success story is being recognized externally. For the second consecutive year, DSMA was awarded by the Globe and Mail as one of the 400 fastest-growing companies in Canada. With nearly 4,300 followers, we also have more LinkedIn followers than any M&A firm in North America.
Without any doubt, 2022 was fantastic for DSMA. But what about 2023? What’s our outlook?
Despite what most of us in the industry expect will be a “roller coaster” ride next year, DSMA anticipates an increase in our business by an additional 50% year over year from 2022 in the U.S., with a 25% increase in our business activity in Canada. And our goal is to complete 501 transactions by the end of 2023.
Numbers aside, our business is a “people” business. My takeaway from the fantastic 2022 DSMA experienced is that more and more clients continue to rely on us to add value to their businesses. Whether or not they were considering selling or whether it was a successorship issue or whether it was a retirement issue, organizations turned to us for them to get an accurate value for their business, including some of the most active, sought-out franchises that went to market, such as Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Kia, and Volkswagen.
Of course, to properly support our rapidly growing business, we must have the right people and resources in place. Towards that goal, in 2022, DSMA today has over 50 members in our team, making us the largest automotive M&A firm by headcount and volume in the North American market—arguably the largest market in the world!
Last year also saw our team engage and build relationships with colleagues and organizations that are part of the excitement of working in such a diverse industry as ours. For example, in October, DSMA hosted a group of prominent Canadian car dealers at the luxurious Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario, to educate and inform dealers about hot market opportunities in the United States.
We were also fortunate to be able to share our successes. DSMA continued to work with The Hope of Life non-profit organization that uses humanitarian aid efforts all over Guatemala. We provided financial support and donated time towards building a school and hospital and participating in rescuing children suffering terribly from malnutrition.
Finally, I want to recognize our growing DSMA team. Our success correlates to the hard work and professionalism exemplified throughout our in-house Sales, Accounting, Marketing, Legal, and Essential Services teams. We have a young, bright, experienced professional team, and we will be adding more experience to our team next year.
With so much to celebrate in 2022, we are just getting started and look forward to the next 10 years of North American Mergers & Acquisitions at DSMA.
Farid Ahmad is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions.