Group 1 adds 10 stores
HOUSTON - Group 1 Automotive Inc., a publicly held dealership chain, has agreed to acquire 10 dealerships with combined revenue of $275 million for $32 million in cash and 595,000 shares of common stock. The transactions, expected to close in the third quarter of 1999, will give the chain pro forma annual revenues of more than $2.4 billion. The acquisitions are: Sandy Sansing Automotive Group, a chain of five stores in Pensacola, Fla.; Benchmark Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Volvo in Oklahoma City; and Rodeo Dodge and Village Chrysler-Plymouth in Dallas. Those and previously announced transactions will give the group 83 franchises and 17 collision centers.
RENAULT USED CARS
PARIS - Renault SA will launch a chain of used-car superstores in Europe in 2000 to sell vehicles that are fewer than 5 years old. All brands will be included. The chain will be called Carevia, and the first two superstores could appear in the Paris area early next year. Each Carevia superstore will offer 150 to 250 used cars of all brands. Renault already has opened used-car superstores in the United Kingdom. They are called Autoworld, and they sell fleet cars that come back into the market.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Jimmy Bankston, 48, a Dallas dealer who sold out to Republic Industries Inc. in March 1997, has retired. Republic said Bankston's two-year management contract has expired and he wants to spend more time with his six children. W.O. Bankston Enterprises handles Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Nissan and Saab. In 1996, it had revenue of $261.8 million and retailed 12,003 new and used vehicles, according to the Automotive News Market Data Book.
SAAB 9-5 WAGON
NORCROSS, Ga. - Saab Cars USA Inc. has priced its new 9-5 station wagon at $32,425, including a $575 destination charge. The wa-gon goes on sale April 12. The base model has a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, side airbags, power sunroof, eight-way power seats, air conditioning and eight-speaker audio system with CD and cassette players. Automatic transmission is $1,150 extra. With a 3.0-liter V-6 and automatic transmission, the wagon is $37,475, including freight. Traction control and leather interior are standard on the V-6 model.