Sonic Automotive Inc. is suing Mercedes-Benz USA to compel the automaker to allow the public dealership group to complete its purchase of a Mercedes dealership in Charlotte, N.C.
Sonic President Scott Smith says Mercedes-Benz is holding hostage his companys purchase of Beck Imports in an effort to force Sonic to spend tens of millions of dollars to upgrade four of its nine other Mercedes-Benz dealerships.
Smith told Automotive News that Mercedes-Benz wants Sonic to spend five to six times as much as is needed to improve the dealerships. Mercedes-Benz USA did not respond to a request for comment.
Sonic, of Charlotte, filed the suit in a North Carolina court.