United Auto Group to announce more joint ventures in Germany

Munich. United Auto Group (UAG), the USA's second largest automobile retailer listed on the stock exchange after AutoNation, plans to further expand in Europe.

UAG entered Europe in early 2002 with the 135 million dollar purchase of the UK's Sytner Group, which sold several luxury brands from 50 showrooms.

Later that year UAG bought shares in a German company for the first time and started a joint venture with Toyota dealer Werner Nix in Frankfurt.

Last year UAG bought shares in BMW Reisacher in Memmingen, Germany.

Jens Werner, managing director of Stuttgart-based UAG International and son of former Mercedes boss Helmut Werner, plans to reveal details of further acquisitions in Germany by the end of March at the earliest

In 2002, UAG achieved sales of 7.4 billion dollars.

The group, which was founded in 1990, consists of nearly 140 American car dealerships and approximately 80 outside the USA.

UAG sells 39 different brands of vehicles from American, European and Asian manufacturers.

Three quarters of the cars sold are foreign brands -- Toyota vehicles for example represent 17 percent of the total business.

American brands only account for 23 percent of sales, although domestic manufacturers have a U.S. market share of approximately 60 percent.

UAG supplies the spare parts sector through its subsidiaries United Auto Care and United Auto Products.

In 2002 a total of two million autos were serviced and repaired in UAG repair workshops.

On the service side UAG focuses primarily on profitable services such as financing, insurance and service contracts.

UAG is currently number 244 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest American enterprises -- and is expected to move up even further.

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