This business represented 4.6% of our total revenues and 5.0% of our total gross profit in the nine months ended September 30, 2017.
Commercial Vehicle Distribution. We are the exclusive importer and distributor of Western Star heavy-duty trucks (a Daimler brand), MAN heavy and medium duty trucks and buses (a VW Group brand), and Dennis Eagle refuse collection vehicles, together with associated parts, across Australia, New Zealand and portions of the Pacific. This business, known as Penske Commercial Vehicles Australia (“PCV Australia”), distributes commercial vehicles and parts to a network of more than 70 dealership locations, including ten company-owned retail commercial vehicle dealerships.
We are also a leading distributor of diesel and gas engines and power systems, principally representing MTU, Detroit Diesel, Mercedes-Benz Industrial, Allison Transmission and MTU Onsite Energy. This business, known as Penske Power Systems (“PPS”), offers products across the on- and off-highway markets in Australia, New Zealand and portions of the Pacific and supports full parts and aftersales service through a network of branches, field locations and dealers across the region. The on-highway portion of this business complements our PCV Australia distribution business, including integrated operations at retail locations shared with PCV.
These businesses represented 2.3% of our total revenues and 3.9% of our total gross profit in the nine months ended September 30, 2017.
Penske Truck Leasing. We currently hold a 28.9% ownership interest in Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. (“PTL”), a leading provider of transportation services and supply chain management. PTL is capable of meeting customers’ needs across the supply chain with a broad product offering that includes full-service truck leasing, truck rental and contract maintenance, along with logistic services such as dedicated contract carriage, distribution center management, transportation management and lead logistics provider. On July 27, 2016, we acquired an additional 14.4% ownership interest in PTL from subsidiaries of GE Capital Global Holdings, LLC (collectively, “GE Capital”) for approximately $498.5 million in cash to bring our total ownership interest to 23.4%. Prior to this acquisition, we held a 9.0% ownership interest in PTL. On September 7, 2017, we acquired an additional 5.5% ownership interest from GE Capital for approximately $239.1 million in cash. At the same time, affiliates of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”), our second largest shareholder, acquired an additional 10.0% ownership interest in PTL at the same valuation. PTL is currently owned 41.1% by Penske Corporation, 28.9% by us, and 30.0% by Mitsui. GE Capital no longer owns any ownership interests in PTL. We account for our investment in PTL under the equity method, and we therefore record our share of PTL’s earnings on our statements of income under the caption “Equity in earnings of affiliates,” which also includes the results of our other equity method investments.
Retail Automotive Dealership. For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, U.S. light vehicle sales declined 1.7%, as compared to the same period last year, to 12.9 million units, with passenger car sales declining 11.1%, while sales of trucks, crossovers and sport utility vehicles increased 4.5%. We believe U.S. light vehicle sales were favorably impacted in September 2017 by replacement demand from hurricanes which caused sales to be higher than expected in September. We believe the market for new light vehicle sales in the U.S. will return to a similar pattern experienced prior to September 2017, and will be impacted by the level of OEM incentives, increasing lease returns, generally low interest rates, strong credit availability, low levels of unemployment, the age of vehicles on the road, vehicle innovation, and favorable consumer fuel costs, although actual sales may differ materially. We also expect to see strength across the used vehicle market as the number of lease returns increases providing customers with an additional supply of affordable late model, low mileage vehicles from which to choose.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, U.K. new vehicle registrations declined 3.9%, as compared to the same period last year, to 2.1 million registrations. The U.K. market is represented 45% by the private market and 55% by business/fleet. Private market registrations decreased 6.1%, while business/fleet registrations decreased 2.1%. While we believe the overall market in the U.K. is being positively impacted by generally strong economic conditions, including low levels of unemployment, access to credit, and attractive financing offers, the March 2019 planned exit from the European Union (“Brexit”) may be causing and may continue to cause economic and political uncertainty, potentially impacting the economic environment, which may lead to further declines in new vehicle registrations in future periods.