Fidelity to buy Major Auto
KEW GARDENS, N.Y. - Fidelity Holdings Inc., a publicly traded electronics company in Kew Gardens, N.Y., last week got approval from Chrysler Financial Corp. for a $7.5 million line of credit to acquire Major Automotive Group of Long Island City, N.Y. The transaction, expected to be completed in two weeks, would make the five-store chain the ninth public dealership group.
Fidelity had planned to do a secondary stock offering to pay for Major Automotive Group but withdrew its registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March.
SONIC BUYS STORES
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sonic Automotive Inc., a publicly held dealership group based in Charlotte, has agreed to acquire three luxury-car dealerships in South Carolina for $7 million in cash and stock.
The dealerships - Century BMW in Greenville and Spartanburg and Heritage Lincoln-Mercury-Jaguar in Greenville - had combined revenues of $107 million in 1997. The former owners agree to remain as general managers.
The transaction, expected to be complete in the third quarter, will give Sonic 34 dealerships representing 21 brands, and 10 collision repair facilities.
McLEAN, Va. - Capital Automotive REIT, an automotive real estate investment trust in McLean, Va., reported first-quarter net income of $1.7 million
TOKYO - Chrysler Corp. is upping the ante in the incentive wars again, this time in Japan. Chrysler Japan Sales Ltd. is offering 150 Voyager SE Limited minivans loaded with extras for the same price as the standard Voyager SE, ¥3.19 million, or about $24,583.
The extras include keyless entry, electronic radio antenna, 16-inch aluminum wheels, gold pinstripes and color-keyed bumpers, side moldings, roof spoiler and running boards. The extras would normally be valued at $4,385.
Sales of all vehicles in Japan, imported and Japan-built alike, have been soft for more than a year.
NO SHOP UPGRADE
DETROIT - General Motors says it will not spend an estimated $250 million to upgrade the paint shop at its large-car assembly plant in Orion, Mich. An internal GM study cited poor productivity, labor problems and an overly restrictive tax abatement by the local township as reasons not to replace
the current shop. Orion produces the Buick Riviera and Park Avenue, the Oldsmobile Aurora and Eighty Eight, and the Pontiac Bonneville.
Spokeswoman Janine Fruehan said new models are scheduled to be produced at Orion after next year, when GM will complete a $284 million renovation of the body shop.
TRW MAY SELL
CLEVELAND - TRW Inc. may sell some auto parts operations if they don't perform better. If lagging TRW divisions 'aren't able to improve margins and profits quickly, we have to ask ourselves if another company can't do a better job,' said President Peter Hellman.
But TRW has no plans to sell its airbag business, Bloomberg News Service reported. The company also makes steering, suspension, engine and electronic components.