This excerpt taken from the AN 10-K filed Feb 24, 2005.
Our ability to grow our business may be limited by our ability to acquire automotive stores in key markets on favorable terms or at all.
The automotive retail industry is a mature industry. Accordingly, the growth of our automotive retail business since our inception has been primarily attributable to acquisitions of franchised automotive dealership groups. As described above, manufacturer approval of our proposed acquisitions generally is subject to our compliance with applicable performance standards (including with respect to matters such as sales volume, sales effectiveness and customer satisfaction) or established acquisition limits, particularly regional and local market limits. In addition, in the current environment, it has been difficult to identify dealership acquisitions in our core markets that meet our return on investment targets, including due to the acquisition price expectations of sellers, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify a significant number of acquisition targets that meet our targeted return thresholds in the future. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to acquire stores selling desirable automotive brands at desirable locations in our key markets or that any such acquisitions can be completed on favorable terms or at all. Acquisitions involve a number of risks, many of which are unpredictable and difficult to quantify or assess, including, among other matters, risks relating to known and unknown liabilities of the acquired business and projected operating performance.