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Penske Automotive Expands Commercial Truck Dealership Footprint

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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Freightliner medium and heavy-duty commercial truck dealerships operating in the Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee markets. These dealerships represent the full line of Freightliner commercial truck products under the brand names Freightliner, Western Star, Sprinter and Freightliner Custom Chassis. The dealerships also offer a full range of used trucks and service/parts/body shop departments to meet the needs of their customers.

Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger S. Penske said, “We are pleased to expand our commercial truck dealership footprint into these new markets as we build scale within the highly-fragmented commercial truck dealership industry. The Chattanooga and Knoxville dealerships offer a strong legacy of providing outstanding new and used sales and service to local customers in addition to servicing fleet and owner-operators along the busy Interstate 24, 40 and 75 corridors providing us with an outstanding opportunity for future organic growth.”

Commenting on the transaction, Freightliner of Knoxville and Chattanooga President Patrick T. Carroll said, “We are excited to join the growing family of commercial truck dealerships in Penske Automotive Group. For more than 20 years, we have built our business with a focus on having industry leading facilities, hiring the best human capital and fostering outstanding relationships with our customers. As a result of sharing a common business philosophy with Penske, we look forward to continuing these traditions while expanding our ability to serve customers provided by the size and scope of Penske Automotive Group.”

The company estimates these dealerships will generate approximately $200 million in annualized revenue.

[Source: PenskeAutomotive.com]

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Penske Automotive Acquires Land Rover Dealership

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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. announced today the acquisition of a Land Rover dealership in Darien, Connecticut. The company estimates the dealership will generate approximately $50 million of revenue annually.

Penske Automotive Group President Robert H. Kurnick, Jr., said, “We are pleased to add the Land Rover brand to our existing automotive dealership operations in Connecticut. For almost 30 years, this dealership has been serving customers in Darien, Greenwich, Westport and Stamford with a dedication to customer service. This brand complements our existing presence with Audi, BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche in the Connecticut market and connects our business from Fairfield, through Darien and into Greenwich, allowing us to continue scaling our operations.”

[Source: PenskeAutomotive.com]

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Penske Automotive Uses Apple Concept for Product Specialist Program

Penske Automotive Uses Apple Concept for Product Specialist Program

Penske Automotive launched a product specialist program in one of its stores last month to try to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. The name or location of the store is not being revealed. The concept that the company is using closely emulates the “genius” product specialists that Apple uses at its retail stores.

Tony Pordon, the executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, says that the idea to initiate such a scheme came from the general manager of the test store. She is trying to creatively drive more people to her location and to improve customer satisfaction ratings at the dealership. Pordon would only say that a high-volume foreign brand is sold at the store.

Penske Automotive is not the first company to test out product specialists in its stores. BMW also took inspiration from Apple for its BMW Genius Everywhere program, which was launched in the United Kingdom and has spread throughout Europe. The vehicle manufacturer requires its dealerships to hire young, tech-savvy people to answer inquiries about its vehicles. BMW is expected to bring this program to the United States early next year.

Penske Automotive supports BMW Genius Everywhere, as well as sells the manufacturer’s vehicles, but Pordon says that its product specialist initiative is separate. The company owns 140 dealerships, but has only hired two product specialists. Pordon says that energetic, tech-savvy people who are willing to embrace changes in technology are ideal candidates for future product specialists. The company wants people who understand product details and have robust communication skills.

Pordon explained that Penske Automotive product specialists will greet customers, go on test drives and do vehicle walk-arounds before a salesperson begins to negotiate a price with the customers. The goal is to meet the high expectations of customers and provide a better, faster experience. Emulating the tech-savviness that other businesses have is one way to accomplish this goal, and that is why this program has been initiated.

He also noted that this is a lower-cost way to boost store sales, despite the upfront cost of hiring product specialists, because it will lead to more gross and increase profits. The management team will examine the initiative and make adjustments as necessary, such as having the product specialists do the sales side of the business as well. If the program works, Penske Automotive will consider launching it at other dealerships.

 

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AutoZone to Join Penske Racing in 2014

AutoZone to Join Penske Racing in 2014

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (November 5, 2013) – Penske Racing announced today that AutoZone will join the organization as an associate sponsor for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

AutoZone and Penske Racing will embark on an extensive business-to-business relationship as the company’s logo will be prominently featured on the C-post of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion driven by 2013 Chase driver Joey Logano beginning next season. AutoZone will also work with other Penske Racing partners to increase its presence in the racing community. In addition, the Memphis, Tenn.-based company will launch a marketing campaign focused around Penske Racing and Logano.

“We are very excited to welcome AutoZone to the Penske Racing family,” said Roger Penske. “We take great pride in the companies like AutoZone that invest in our organization. This partnership will help us continue to grow at Penske Racing and provide an opportunity for the rest of our partners to work with yet another great company in Auto Zone.”

AutoZone is the nation’s leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories with more than 5,000 stores in the US, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Each store carries an extensive line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured hard parts, maintenance items and accessories. Since opening its first store in Forrest City, Ark. on July 4, 1979, the company has joined the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: AZO) and earned a position in the Fortune 500.

AutoZone has an extensive history in motorsports, including various sponsorships in NASCAR, powerboat racing and regional racing series around the country. This marks the automotive company’s first sponsor relationship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“When you decide to enter into an agreement like this, you want to work with a company that everyone respects and that’s what Penske Racing is, especially in the motorsports world,” said Bill Rhodes, President and CEO of AutoZone. “We are all really excited to form this new partnership with Roger Penske and his first-class organization. Already from the beginning, they’ve made us feel very welcome. And to get to work with an up-and-coming driver and a car guy like Joey Logano is about as good as it gets.”

Logano, who is in his first season driving the No. 22 Ford Fusion for Penske Racing, has posted career-high numbers in 2013 with one win, two poles, 11 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. He qualified for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup this season in his fifth full-time year competing in the series. Logano has also won three races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013, giving him a total of 21 wins in the series since 2008.

“It’s pretty cool to see a new company come into our sport and to get involved at the level that AutoZone is planning to do next season,” said the 23-year-old Logano, who won at Michigan International Speedway earlier this season. “To have a company come in and be really excited about working with you and your team, it really makes you feel good. Having Auto Zone on board starting next season is great for our sport and Penske Racing and it makes me want to go out there and win even more races for them.”

[Source: PenskeRacing.com]

 

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Penske & Alvernia Team Up for MBA

Penske & Alvernia Team Up for MBA

Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics are partnering with Alvernia University to offer a Master of Business Administration degree. Alvernia, a 3,000-student, 121-acre private institution in Reading, Pa., is bringing its MBA professors to Penske’s global headquarters in Reading, Pa., for a program that begins Oct. 23. The two campuses are separated by 4.3 miles.

According to Penske senior trainer Colleen Kunkle classes will meet weekly and the 17 enrolled students are expected to earn their degrees in three years (the number could increase to 20 by the time classes start). The program follows a cohort model: students start collectively and graduate together.

Penske associates will receive a discounted tuition rate.

Of the 17 students, 13 are employed by Penske Truck Leasing and four from subsidiary Penske Logistics.

Six associates work in a finance capacity, while the rest support the company’s supply chain, fleet services, truck vehicle maintenance, used trucks, quality and information technology groups.
Cilia Torres is a project manager for Penske’s used trucks product line where she works with the company’s vendors and its various sales channels. She earned a criminal justice bachelor‘s degree from Alvernia and has been with the company for nine years.

“I was researching various MBA programs and I thought that this was a great option,” she said. “Having the program here at Penske gave me the push to start now.” Torres is also pursuing her Six Sigma black belt certification.

Kevin Bender has spent 13 years in the supply chain industry, earning a bachelor’s degree in business logistics, with an operations management minor, from Penn State University. He has been with Penske for a little over a year as a manager for carrier relations, involved with the company’s third-party logistics transportation network.

“I was looking to enter a graduate program for a number of years,” Bender explained. “This is a good program for family life and work balance – I have two small children at home. I feel like this is the last piece to help me get to the executive level.”

Penske Truck Leasing HQ While Penske spends millions on training each year for the company’s 18,300 global associates, and has a long history of promoting educational and developmental opportunities to their associates, this is the first time they have partnered with a university to bring classes directly to their associates.

“I would call this relationship with Alvernia another progression of our learning efforts,” explained Ken Hurley, Penske senior vice president of human resources. “We promote high levels of learning and career development here at Penske. At every level of the organization there are opportunities for our associates to learn, grow and develop – both personally and professionally.
“As a company we care about our associates and one way we do that is by showing an interest in their personal and career growth through our tuition assistance program,” he stated. “Programs like this are a great way to help develop the next generation of Penske leadership talent.”

Penske has a long-time relationship with Alvernia and has employees who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the school.

Alvernia has offered its MBA program on locations at other area companies. Its business faculty conducts regional leadership and training seminars.

“We really believe that partnerships like this are important for professionals in the community,” said Daria LaTorre, Alvernia dean of graduate and adult education. “If we can make it easier for Penske employees to gain a career advantage with minimal impact on their busy lives, then it’s well worth the effort.”

[Source: http://blog.gopenske.com]

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Keselowski Wins the Richmond Race

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Brad Keselowski, driving the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang, won the race held at Virginia 529 College Savings 250. It was Keselowski’s fifth victory of the season in Hertz colors and 11th win for Ford in 2013. This is the first year of the team’s partnership.

Keselowski started the race, which was held on the night of September 6, 2013, at the fourth position. He worked his way into the bottom line after giving up several spots during the initial laps. This is the preferred line on the Richmond International Raceway, known as the victory lane.

He made his first pit stop at lap 69, where Jeremy Bullins, the chief crew, adjusted the air pressure and track bar. Keselowski had earlier radioed Jeremy that the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang was tight in the center but loose on the exit and corner entry. By the time he made another pit stop at lap 135, he had worked his way into the top five cars.

Brian Scott was in the lead for most of the race in his No. 2 racer, but Keselowski eventually passed him at lap 240 during a late-race restart. He again held Scott at lap 245 and cruised to the win.

When Scott was asked about the race, he said Keselowski was involved in a questionable restart. However, Keselowski responded that the restart box was a zone, and they had gone right at the start without giving Scott a second to catch up.

Asked what it meant to win the 1,000th nationwide series race, Keselowski said he was still too close to the race to understand it well. He said the question could only be answered well with the benefit of hindsight.

Explaining that it was a great honor to win such a distinguishing race, Keselowski appreciated every member of the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang team. He gave Jeremy more credit than himself for positioning them where they had a very fast car, particularly during the last few runs. He said that whether he was making passes or restarts, he was simply making executions as everything came together for the team.

 

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