With his hard work and friendly reputation, Walt DeBoer successfully opened the first Lithia Motors dealership in Ashland in 1946.
Walt was succeeded by his oldest son, Sidney (Sid), who, when he took over the reins, doubted his ability to run the business alone, but persevered and sold 35 cars in the first month. Uplifted by this confidence, he embraced all the challenges and tribulations that followed, and the rest is history.
In 1996, Lithia Motors, Inc. had expanded to six dealerships in southern Oregon and employed more than 200 residents. The management decided to go public with the company with $146 million in annual revenues at the time. Sid’s goal for going public was to provide growth opportunities to his employees and store leaders and to expand the business to other states.
In 2012, the third generation of the DeBoers, Bryan, succeeded Sid as the CEO and President and continued Lithia Motors’ legacy. Lithia’s story emphasizes and teaches that one’s response to setbacks shapes the future. Bryan has guided the company to Fortune 500 status during his impressive tenure, including #252 in 2020, #4 10-Year Total Shareholder Return, and #6 Ten-year EPS Growth. These achievements result from the company’s growth from $2.7 billion to a whopping $13 billion.
In November 2020, Lithia Motors acquired Sterling Luxury Group (Sterling Motorcars) in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is among the most affluent counties in the United States. This acquisition added three new brands to its portfolio and includes BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Lamborghini, and McLaren. These additions further increase our brand selection and broadest national network in the industry.