As Volkswagen sales have surged in the United States, so has interest in acquiring VW dealerships.
Fifty-five VW stores have changed hands this year, 50 percent more than in all of 2011, says Frank Trivieri, executive vice president of sales at Volkswagen of America.
"People who could get any franchise want the VW brand now," he says.
Trivieri says interest is especially high at four public dealership groups that have avoided the brand in the past: Group 1, AutoNation, Sonic and Penske Automotive.
Public groups currently own only 22 of VW's 607 U.S. dealerships. But Group 1 has picked up six VW stores in the past 18 months and now has eight. And the company says it wants more.