The group also has two dealerships in Utah: Karl Malone Toyota in Draper and Karl Malone Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Heber City. In the next month or so, the group plans to acquire Mike Hale Chevrolet in Park City, Utah, Hicks said.
Karl Malone’s auto business also includes a paint and body shop in Draper, plus six powersports dealerships across Utah, Colorado and Arkansas, with plans to acquire another in Idaho, Hicks said.
The El Dorado stores are about an hour’s drive north of Ruston, where Malone lives and where he owns other businesses, including an alcohol and cigar importing company and a tactical apparel store, Hicks said. Malone played college basketball there at Louisiana Tech University.
Malone got his start in auto retail in 1994. The Jazz were owned by Utah megadealer Larry Miller during Malone’s playing career — a connection crucial for his budding automotive retail business.
In 1994, Malone and Larry Miller Group bought Garcia Toyota in Albuquerque, N.M., and changed the name to Karl Malone Toyota.
In 1997, Malone worked with the Miller group to open Karl Malone Toyota in Draper, and he was an investor with former teammate and Hall of Famer John Stockton in Stockton to Malone Honda in Sandy, Utah.
Karl Malone Auto Group formed in 2010 when Malone traded his equity in the Albuquerque store for all of Karl Malone Toyota in Draper and sold his equity in Stockton to Malone Honda, now named Stockton 12 Honda.
“They tell you at rookie camp that your basketball career is going to end someday and you have to prepare for life after that,” Malone told Automotive News in 2012. “I’m telling you the car business, done right, is something you can do the rest of your life and pass it on to your kids.”