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After 12 years in automotive sales, the McIntosh family–well known in Seattle’s metro area–recently sold Kirkland Chrysler Jeep Inc. (No. 84 on the be auto dealer 100 with $26.5 million in sales) to Greg Rairdon Jeep Chrysler. The Kirkland dealership and real estate was wholly owned by the estate of the late William E. “Mac” McIntosh Jr. His sons, Blair and Brian, managed day-to-day operations.
According to Blair, 28, the “multimillion-dollar” deal is complete, with a few details to be finalized by July 31, 2008. He maintains that the sale of the Chrysler L.L.C. brand to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management made now the right time to sell. (See “Auto Dealers Applaud Chrysler Sale,” Newspoints, August 2007.) “We wanted to remain in control of our own destiny. [Chrysler has] initiated a ‘cut and run’ strategy with the hope of creating a leaner, more efficient company. When a manufacturer starts looking at their dealers as an expense, as a dealer, it’s time to start re-evaluating your future.”
“Upgrading poor sales performing dealers is part of our ongoing, routine business; this is nothing new,” says Chrysler spokeswoman Lori A. Pinter.
Detroit-based financial consultant James V. McTevia maintains: “The dealerships are in a rocky position. Those that have a weak stomach will want to get out now. Those that continue will have the advantage of selling other products.”