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Salt Lake City — Larry H. Miller Dealerships has announced the acquisition of seven dealerships in Arizona, including three stores in Avondale and four in Tucson. Avondale stores include: Avondale Chrysler, Jeep; Avondale Dodge, Ram; and Avondale Fiat. Tucson stores include Tucson Dodge, Ram; Tucson Chrysler, Jeep; Tucson Fiat and Tucson Volkswagen. The acquisition is the largest in the company’s history.
“Larry H. Miller Dealerships is committed to growth, being a good community partner, and providing meaningful employment to members of the communities where we conduct business,” said Dean Fitzpatrick, president.
These additional stores will increase the company’s overall volume by approximately 15 percent and take it into a new market with Tucson. Larry H. Miller Dealerships, based in Salt Lake City, will remain tenth on the Automotive News list of top 125 dealership groups in the country, now operating 19 different automotive brands at 55 locations in seven Western states.
Negotiations for the Arizona dealerships, purchased from Doug Moreland and John Grant, began seven months ago. Steve Starks, executive vice president for the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation, represented the Miller’s interest in the agreement and has been leading the company’s quest for new acquisitions for the past four years.
“Not only is this the largest dealership acquisition in our company’s history, we believe it is among the largest acquisitions in the industry over the past several years,” Starks said.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships, which originated in 1979 with the purchase of its flagship Toyota store in Murray, Utah, opened its first Arizona location with Larry H. Miller Toyota Peoria in 1980. The automotive group now has a total of 13 dealerships in both the Phoenix and Tucson markets.
Arizona is the second largest state behind Utah for number of dealerships owned by the Miller Group. On September 29, 2007, the group sold its one-millionth car in company history to a customer at Larry H. Miller Dodge Peoria.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships will retain the existing employees of the seven newly-acquired dealerships bringing the total number of Arizona-based personnel to more than 1,000 and overall automotive employees to more than 3,700.
“An important part of the purchase value of these dealerships is the employees,” said Fitzpatrick. “We are impressed with the corporate culture at these stores and the high-caliber, experienced people who work there. We feel that they will be a great fit for our organization.”