PHOENIX -- Tony Merritt, CEO of Superstition Springs Lexus in Mesa, Ariz., died Jan. 15 in Gold Canyon, Ariz. He was 75.
Merritt began his career at Ford Motor Co. in 1968 in distribution and worked his way up to field operations manager. He joined Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. in 1980 in the Denver regional office, where he held several positions, then moved to corporate headquarters in Torrance, Calif., before becoming general manager in the San Francisco and Cincinnati regions.
In 1996, Merritt and his wife, Ann, opened Superstition Springs Toyota in Mesa, Ariz. In 2004, they opened Superstition Springs Lexus. They sold the Toyota store in 2007. The Lexus dealership ranked No. 39 on Black Enterprise magazine’s 2012 list of the largest African-American-owned auto dealerships in the United States.