“For a person who was never in the car business, to me this was perfect,” Glazer, US Auto Trust’s CEO, told Automotive News. “It’s not a very big dealership with a brand that I love. And so we bought that.”
Glazer, 53, said it didn’t take long for him to realize he enjoyed auto retail and to find similarities to the sports business.
“What was fascinating to me was the business wasn’t that different than the sports business,” he said. “You’re dealing with high level [customers], whether you’re selling a luxury suite to a sports fan, or a $300,000 sports car to a client.”
Still, Glazer pointed out that the nature of the sports business allows for a little reprieve once the season ends. Not so for automotive retail, he said.
“In the sports business, there’s a season, the season ends, you generally have six months to regroup, come up with a plan,” he said. “The auto business is just … boy, oh boy, I mean, you just don’t get a day off if you’re in the dealership business.”
Glazer, based in Los Angeles, is co-chairman of the Buccaneers, which is also owned by other members of his family. The Glazer family owns English soccer giant Manchester United of the Premier League and Glazer is on its board of directors. In November, the Glazer family said they were considering selling Manchester United, among other options, as they explore strategic alternatives.
Beyond US Auto Trust and his family’s sports businesses, Glazer is founder of US Property Trust, a commercial real estate company that owns and operates shopping centers in California, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
In less than five years, Glazer has grown US Auto Trust to eight dealerships, all in California.
From Newport Beach, US Auto Trust went south to San Diego, buying another Aston Martin dealership in 2019. Aston Martin has 35 U.S. dealerships, according to the Automotive News annual dealership census. US Auto Trust added a Jaguar-Land Rover store in Newport Beach that year.
In 2021, it bought a Jaguar-Land Rover dealership in San Jose and a standalone Land Rover store in Pasadena. And then last year, US Auto Trust bought a Cadillac dealership, a Hyundai-Genesis store and another Jaguar-Land Rover dealership, all in Southern California.
Glazer, dealer principal for each dealership and the sole owner, said he’s a hands-on operator and frequents his stores often.
Glazer works alongside Matt Kaiser, the group’s president. The pair have worked together for more than 20 years, Glazer said.
“He and I work on really growing the company,” Glazer said. “That’s what we focus on is acquisitions.”