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Old 02-22-2007, 06:46 PM
woody underwood's Avatar
woody underwood woody underwood is offline
Location: kansas city, missouri
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,090
Mein Auto: 330ciZHP Mini Clubman VUE
Baron BMW in KC sells out...

To a chain group...I have my fingers crossed because they were/are the best. Their super GM also left for the local Benz dealer...but that's another story (They sold out too but Mr. Battaglia got a pretty good deal out of it, CEO of Soave Automotive Group)
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:50 PM
former230 former230 is offline
Driving around somewhere
Location: KC
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 222
Mein Auto: nothing at the moment
Oh man!! this is bad news! what other details do you have? That is where I take my car too. I love those guys!!

Hopefully as customers we dont see or notice any difference.
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Old 02-24-2007, 02:28 PM
suzer's Avatar
suzer suzer is offline
I always have an opinion
Location: Kansas City, MO
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 591
Mein Auto: '06 325xiT
The article below summarizes the move from the Kansas City Star. And if you search Careerbuilder.com, you'll find they are looking for a finance manager and two sales associates. This doesn't smell good.

Group 1 Automotive Inc., a Houston-based Fortune 500 automotive retailer, has purchased luxury dealership Baron BMW/Mini and its sister franchise, Baron Volkswagen, for an undisclosed price.

Group 1 said the deal is expected to generate about $123 million in annual revenue for the company, which ranks among the top five automotive retailers in the country.

The deal for the area's exclusive BMW dealer had been in the works for several months. Group 1 owns more than 100 dealerships in 14 states, including California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Texas. The company posted $6 billion in revenues in its latest fiscal year.

Baron Automotive Group was owned by local investment banker Bart Cohen and Dallas businessman A. Baron Cass III. (Cohen is not the same Bart Cohen as the owner of Metcalf Bank, who died in December.) The two bought what was then the area's only BMW dealership in 1993 from Bert Benjamin and Marion Battaglia, who until recently was its general manager.

Neither Cohen nor Cass could be reached for comment Friday. Don Lindsey, the new Baron general manager, said Cohen would provide consulting services to the dealership.

Executives of Group 1 were attending the annual auto show of the National Automotive Dealers Association in Las Vegas and could not be reached for comment Friday.

Clint Woods, a spokesman for Group 1, said the purchase was part of the company's plan to beef up its mix of import/luxury brands.

The Baron BMW/Mini store, atop a hillside off Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 35 in Merriam, is one of the area's most visible, and swanky, auto dealerships. The steel gray dealership building was designed by Gould Evans Goodman Associates and built by Walton Construction Co. at an estimated cost of $10 million. It opened in late 2000.

The project was preceded by controversy over what some Merriam residents thought was an abuse of the city's power of eminent domain.

After Baron BMW was unable to reach agreement to buy a one-acre parcel for the project from its owners, William and Laverne Gross, the city acquired the land through eminent domain and turned title over to the dealership.

Baron had offered the Grosses $650,000 for the property. The Grosses said it was worth $2.3 million.

The price established through condemnation was $1 million.

The deal for Baron Automotive Group marks Group 1's first purchase this year.

The company acquired more than a dozen import franchises in 2006, including four in the Philadelphia area in October.

Lindsey said the company is interested in expanding in the Kansas City market but had no other deals pending.

Group 1 was founded in 1995 and went public in October 1997. Shares in the company rose 1 cent Friday to $53.93 in composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

2006 325xiT | Alpine White | Black Leather

Last edited by suzer; 02-24-2007 at 02:52 PM. Reason: found more info
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