Automobile

Ed Morse acquires 2 Texas dealerships; Advantage Rent a Car owner buys store in Georgia

The owner of Advantage Rent a Car has entered auto retail, buying a standalone GMC dealership in Georgia.

Adel Dealerco on July 20 bought Jerry Kelley GMC in Adel, north of Valdosta and the Georgia-Florida state line. The dealership has been renamed Advantage GMC of Adel, said Dan Miller, co-owner and CEO of Orlando Rentco, the majority owner of Adel Dealerco. Orlando Rentco, of Orlando, owns Advantage Rent a Car.

“We wanted to enter the retailing business so that when we sell our, what we call off-rental cars, or the rental cars that come out of the rental fleet, we wanted a way to sell those in a retail environment instead of just primarily wholesale, which we have done up to this point,” Miller told Automotive News.

Orlando Rentco, also owned by Remon Aziz, in July 2020 bought some Advantage Rent a Car locations and assets after Advantage filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Miller said.

Other minority owners of the GMC dealership include Mark Zurales, dealer principal and vice president of retail operations for Advantage Rent a Car and who formerly worked for dealership groups such as Walser Automotive Group and AutoNation Inc., and Sandy Miller, former CEO of Budget Group Inc. Sandy Miller is Dan Miller’s father.

Dan Miller said he wants Orlando Rentco to continue to acquire nonluxury brand dealerships in second-tier markets that are within a few hundred miles from its eight Advantage airport rental car locations. It has rental car businesses in both Atlanta and Orlando, for example.

The company plans to use dealership service departments to recondition rental cars for used-vehicle sales.

“What we’re able to do is take the rental car, put it on a truck in the morning, get it into the service department, get it reconditioned and by the end of the day, have it ready for sale at the dealership,” Dan Miller said.

Miller said the Advantage website will be upgraded for customers to rent, sell and buy used vehicles.

Bill Fields of Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions, a dealership buy-sell firm based in Markham, Ontario and with a U.S. office in Jupiter, Fla., represented the seller in the transaction.

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