Group 1 buys two stores in San Diego market

Group 1 Automotive Inc. has acquired two dealerships from the Homer Heller Automotive Group in Escondido, Calif.

The deal further expands Group 1's footprint in the San Diego market after buying Volkswagen Kearny Mesa there in 2011. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"These are two powerful brands in a very strong market," Group 1 CEO Earl Hesterberg said in a statement on Tuesday.

Group 1's purchase from the Homer Heller Automotive Group includes Heller Ford and Heller Hyundai.

The dealerships will operate as Ford of Escondido and Hyundai of Escondido.

They are projected to generate $135 million in annual revenue.

Group 1, of Houston, owns and operates 150 dealerships in the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil. It ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups, with retail sales of 128,550 new vehicles in 2012.

You can reach Sean Gagnier at sgagnier@crain.com

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