Oregon dealership buys Johnson Chrysler/Jeep for $2.8 million
Lithia Motors Inc. of Medford, Ore., in late January completed the acquisition of its first Alaska dealership, Johnson Chrysler/Jeep dealership in Anchorage. Lithia officials said the company’s net investment in the dealership, which totaled $2.8 million, was paid in cash.
The new operators told investors in the public company they expect revenue from the Anchorage dealership could add $35 million annually to Lithia operations.
Lithia operates 113 franchises -- or vehicle brands -- in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington. The company sells 26 brands of new vehicles at 53 stores and via the Internet. Lithia also sells used vehicles, arranges financing to buy vehicles and provides parts and repair services at its locations.
In 1999 Lithia sold 52,485 new and used vehicles, and for the first nine months of 2000 the company sold 64,645 new and used vehicles. According to company officials, Lithia’s current annualized revenue run rate, including all completed acquisitions, exceeds $1.7 billion.
"Anchorage, Alaska, represents a new target area for Lithia Motors," said Sid DeBoer, chairman and chief executive. "This is the kind of market where the combination of Lithia’s operational focus and community involvement has been successful in the past. In 1999, Lithia was recognized as being the Northwest’s fastest growing public company, and this store will be a good fit with the other stores we have in that region."
The company may consider other acquisitions in Alaska, said investor relations manager Dan Retzlaff. The former owner of Johnson Chrysler/Jeep is no longer with the dealership, but Lithia retained the general manager and other employees, Retzlaff said.
New Anchorage eatery eyes March opening
Operators of Wayne’s Original Texas Bar-B-Que, now under construction in Midtown, expect to open the restaurant in March.
Work on the eatery is about 75 percent complete, said Wayne Bond, president of restaurant operator Kodiak Foods. For a handful of months the restaurant has sold take-out orders from a trailer at its construction site. "We’re doing more business (on an annualized basis) than the average restaurant," he said.
Wayne’s Original Texas Bar-B-Que will total 6,800 square feet and will be able to seat 250 people, Bond said.
Bond once ran the original Anchorage Taco Bell restaurants and led a Fairbanks location to a top franchise ranking.
The restaurant will employ about 45 full- and part-time workers, Bond said.