George Soros may be in a car race with Warren Buffett

January 26, 2015, 4:52 PM UTC
Exclusive Interview With Billionaire Investor George Soros
George Soros, billionaire and founder of Soros Fund Management LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in London, U.K., on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Soros said Europe faces 25 years of Japanese-style stagnation unless politicians pursue further integration of the currency bloc and change policies that have discouraged banks from lending. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Simon Dawson — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Another octogenarian billionaire is reportedly considering getting into the auto dealership business.

Trade magazine Automotive News reported Monday that Soros Fund Management, run by the investor and philanthropist George Soros, sent representatives to last week’s National Automotive Dealers Association conference in San Francisco over the weekend to research the industry and find potential investing opportunities.

If Soros goes through with his reported plan to get into the automotive retailing space, he would have a rival in Warren Buffett, who purchased the Van Tuyl dealership group last year.

Soros is interested in the car business as a way to diversify his fund’s holdings and cash flow opportunities, and buying a large dealership group was one option, sources told Automotive News.

Soros Fund is in talks with an undisclosed number of dealership groups and has proposed “different transactions to different people,” the publication said, citing one of the sources.

If Soros chooses to follow Buffett into the auto dealership business, he’ll be getting into an industry undergoing huge changes.

Smaller dealerships like the ones operated by Tesla look to become more and more popular — evidenced just last week when Cadillac announced it is pushing for some dealerships to create boutique-style showrooms. Technology is also changing the game, with online shopping changing the way people shop for cars.

Outside of the investing world, Soros is known for his politics and philanthropy. He is a supporter of left wing and progressive causes, particularly his activism against President George W. Bush last decade.
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—Reuters contributed to this report.