Asbury appoints new operations chief

News

Asbury Automotive Group has named a longtime employee who started as a management trainee as its next senior vice president of operations.

Daniel Clara, 40, was appointed to the position effective Jan. 29, the public dealership group said late Thursday in a regulatory filing. Clara replaces John Hartman, a 30-year industry veteran who held the position for just more than two years before leaving Asbury earlier this month.

Clara joined Asbury in 2002. He worked in sales through the company’s manager-in-training program at its Crown BMW dealership in Greensboro, N.C., according to his LinkedIn profile.

He has held a number of positions at the nation’s seventh largest new-vehicle retailer including vice president of market operations, managing market director, general manager, general sales manager, used-car manager, new-car sales manager, finance and insurance manager and client adviser.

In his new position, Clara will earn a base salary of $600,000 — the same base salary Hartman earned in 2019. Clara will become eligible for an annual cash bonus worth up to 75 percent of his base salary and also will receive a stock equity award valued at $500,000, vesting over three years.

Clara takes the operations chief role as Asbury prepares to digest its largest acquisition ever and one of the largest in the industry in the past decade. It is buying 10 luxury-brand dealerships in Texas from Park Place Dealerships in a $1 billion cash deal expected to be final in March.

Asbury of Duluth, Ga., ranks No. 7 on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 105,275 new vehicles in 2018.

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