Published January 15, 2002
Volume 10, Number 1

AutoFocus is Setting its Sights on Growth
Automotive Retailers Bring Corporate Offices to Hacienda
Denny Boyle, president of AutoFocus, has played a key role in growing the company into a $300 million enterprise.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor

AutoFocus, which owns and operates a growing number of auto dealerships and a collision repair facility, has moved its headquarters to Hacienda at 5994 West Las Positas Boulevard, suite 221. 

The company operates Capitol Toyota and Capitol Collision Repair in San Jose and Frontier Honda in Longmont, Colorado as well as San Leandro Honda, Tracy Dodge Chrysler Jeep, and Tracy Mitsubishi. The company has also recently signed a franchise agreement with Hyundai and will be opening Tracy Hyundai this month and will also be building a dealership at the Folsom Lake Auto Mall near Sacramento.

Finance and Management
"AutoFocus is both a holding company and a management company," explains Dennis Boyle, president of the nine-person firm. "AutoFocus holds the stock in our subsidiary corporations and oversees what is happening in each of the dealerships." 

The company was founded in 1988 after Boyle's partner, Jerry Brassfield, bought Frontier Honda and needed someone with automotive experience to help manage the business. Boyle stepped in and the company has grown significantly in the ensuing years. 

"I think our sales for Frontier Honda were $18 or $19 million in 1988," says Boyle. That's a far cry from the $300 million they anticipate company-wide for 2002.

A Sound Strategy
The company's dramatic growth is more a result of careful planning than simple aggressiveness, however. "Our model has essentially been to acquire dealerships that are underperforming and then do what's necessary to improve that," he explains. 

Sometimes that has meant installing new management teams. The company acquired Capitol Toyota in 1990 and did $55 million in sales that year. Last year, that total was nearly three times higher, thanks to improved management.

Some dealerships have been relocated as well. Tracy Dodge Chrysler Jeep was the last auto dealer in downtown Tracy and sales were flagging when AutoFocus acquired it.

"We didn't buy the dealership for what it was -- we bought it for our vision of what it could be once it was relocated to the Tracy Auto Mall," he says. 

That move was completed last April and the dealership's sales have increased. Moreover, AutoFocus is poised to take advantage of Tracy's growth over the coming decades. "That's going to be a very dynamic market for us and we're excited about doing business there for the long term."

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