Maria Soklis, recently resigned as president of Cox Automotive Canada and Brazil, has been named EVP, North America at Toronto-based Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions (DSMA). She started May 2. 

Maria Soklis

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Soklis told Automotive News Canada. DSMA “has gone through a lot of growth over the last few years … and this is an opportunity to take it to the next level.” 

Soklis worked at Cox Automotive for six years, and announced her departure in September 2021 when the company consolidated its Canadian reporting functions with headquarters in the U.S.

Before Cox Automotive, Soklis worked six years at Kia Canada, rising to the position of VP and COO.

DSMA offers consultancy on mergers and acquisitions to dealers, car makers and financial institutions across North America. 

Soklis, who said she was head-hunted by DSMA leadership, takes on a newly created role based mainly in Toronto with some travel to Montreal and the U.S.  

She anticipates plenty of work as auto retail becomes increasingly consolidated. 

“I will be working to ensure the company navigates this period of industry transformation successfully and delivers the structured products and services a modern, agile professional services firm must deliver to stay relevant and at the top of their industry,” she was quoted as saying. 

The industry “will continue to see consolidation with potentially more public companies entering Canada as we saw with [U.S.-based] Lithia Motor’s purchase of Pfaff [Automotive Partners],” Soklis added.

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