DETROIT, MI, JANUARY 3, 2000 - UnitedAuto Group, Inc. (NYSE: UAG), today announced the appointment of Kenneth W. Hunt as President of its Southeast Region, effective February 1, 2000.
Mr. Hunt will report to UnitedAuto President Sam DiFeo, and will be responsible for all UnitedAuto operations in the Southeast Region. Mr. Hunt was formerly General Manager of Longo Toyota in El Monte, California, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc., and the world's largest Toyota dealership.
The UnitedAuto Southeast Region includes dealerships in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. 1999 revenues from the 18 dealership locations in the Southeast Region are expected to total approximately $850 million on total new and used unit sales in excess of 33,500 vehicles. OEM brands currently represented include BMW, Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep, Dodge, General Motors (Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac and GMC), Infiniti, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota. The Southeast Region is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
In commenting on the appointment, UnitedAuto Chairman Roger Penske stated: "Ken Hunt has been responsible for leading the Longo Toyota team to record setting levels of sales, profitability, and customer satisfaction over the last 12 years. Moving Ken over to UAG provides UnitedAuto with the opportunity to leverage his significant retail automotive experience." Sam DiFeo, President, added: "Ken is a very talented automotive professional and the company will benefit greatly from his leadership abilities. We are delighted that he has decided to join the UnitedAuto team."
Prior to becoming General Manager, Mr. Hunt held various positions of increasing responsibility at Longo Toyota, as well as management positions with a Chevrolet dealership in Huntington Beach, California. Mr. Hunt attended Pepperdine University where he earned his Bachelors Degree in Business Management. Mr. Hunt will be relocating from Los Angeles, California with his wife, Lauren, to the Atlanta area.
Tom Hessert, outgoing Southeast Region President will become a consultant to UnitedAuto, and will work on developing UnitedAuto's Turnersville, New Jersey - Super Automall concept.
In commenting on the transition, Mr. Hessert said: "I feel good about what the Southeast Region Team was able to accomplish during the last year, and I am confident that Ken and his team will continue the positive momentum we achieved in 1999. My new role will allow me the flexibility to pursue outside interests while remaining available to work on special projects for the company."
UnitedAuto, which has pursued a strategy based on internal growth from its existing dealerships as well as from strategic acquisitions, operates 103 franchises. UnitedAuto dealerships sell new and used vehicles and market a complete line of aftermarket automotive products and services.
This press release contains forward-looking information, and actual results may materially vary from those expressed or implied herein. Factors, including economic conditions, manufacturer approvals and acquisition risks that could affect these results are described in reports and documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.