Honoring Penske at the 2012 WAS

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On Thursday, January 26 President of GM North America Mark Reuss, and Chairman of Crain Communications Keith Crain, will take the stage at the 2012 Washington Auto Show to present Roger Penske with the Keith Crain Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award.

Automotive News reports, “The award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the auto industry.” One look at Roger Penske’s accomplishments and it is clear to see that his contributions to the automotive industry have been nothing short of just that… significant.

Roger Penske’s passion for cars and the automotive industry started at a young age. The son of a car dealer, Penske spent his teenage years as a “lot boy” for a dealership while he honed his ability to build lasting and meaningful relationships with anyone he came into contact with. This quality is reflected in the words of his colleagues. Keith Crain had this to say about the Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award recipient: “For his ingenuity as an entrepreneur and his passion for speed and the art of design, Roger Penske is a visionary in the automotive industry.”

The Penske Corporation oversees operations at more than 1,800 locations employing more than 36,000 people worldwide. The Penske Truck Leasing company, which provides customers with everything from complete fleet management to residential moving trucks, is comprised of over 1000 locations worldwide. The Penske retail automotive business has grown to over 325 franchises including the largest Toyota dealership in the United States. However, Roger Penske’s accomplishments are not confined to the automotive sales and leasing industry, Penske is also the recipient of the Sports Illustrated SCCA Driver of the Year Award.

The Penske Racing Team captured their first Championship Car victory in the Pocono 500 on July 3, 1971. Since then, they have stacked up 340 major race victories, over 400 pole positions and 23 National Championships. In addition to those staggering numbers, the Penske Racing Team has dominated the Indianapolis 500 by taking home 15 checkered flags over the last 4 years. The closest competitor has achieved this feat only 5 times in the history of the race.

The Washington Auto Show is the largest public show in the capital. Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest D.C., the event will feature more than 700 new makes and models from over 42 manufacturers. The Keith Crain Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented upon commencement of the 2012 Washington Auto Show on January 26 and it will be followed by a dinner reception at 7:00PM. For more information about how you can be a part of this celebratory award ceremony visit the Washington Auto Show website at

Information in this article courtesy of

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Audi & Daimler Introduce Revolutionary Technology at CES 2012

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For years, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada has attracted the attention of tech enthusiasts everywhere. Since its inception in 1967, CES has been the birthplace for devices like the videocassette recorder (VCR), the compact disc (CD), and the Nintendo Entertainment System. This year, a record setting 153,000 people attended the event to get the first look at the future of technology.

This year, the automotive industry had more of a presence at CES then in previous years. Car manufacturers including Audi, Kia, Ford, Mercedes, Daimler, and many more made an appearance at the show despite the fact that the Detroit Auto Show was underway at the same time. Each manufacturer had different technology products on display. However; one of the most talked about presentations at the show was Daimler’s introduction of their new infotainment system.

The EE Times reports, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, spoke in depth about the “connected car” and about how users of the interactive infotainment system will have unlimited access to information, “everywhere and at all times”. Mobile applications such as Google Local, Street View, and Facebook are already available to Daimler customers in Europe. However, Daimler wasn’t the only manufacturer rolling out an automobile infotainment system at this year’s CES.

Audi also announced their infotainment system. Audi’s infotainment system features integration of the Audi Phone Box. The Audi Phone Box is an intelligent compartment in the center console that passes the signal of your mobile device to an external antenna on the outside of the car. This genius invention will increase call signal and allow users to download data at faster speeds. In addition to the Audi Phone Box, the infotainment system features integration of mobile applications like Google Voice. Bringing cloud-based applications to Audi’s infotainment system is just one of features that Audi buyers have to look forward to in the near future.

Attendees agree that the technological advancements introduced by companies like Audi and Daimler point to an exciting future for the “connected car” and the connected car driver. For more information about CES 2012 and the products featured at the show visit the CES web site at

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Penske acquires Northern Ireland dealer group

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The Isaac Agnew Group of Northern Ireland is the most recent addition to the Penske Automotive family. The group, which sold 7,000 new units last year, is comprised of Volkswagen, Volvo, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW/Mini franchises.

Chairman Roger Penske had this to say about the new acquisition, “This collection of dealerships has a strong legacy. The outstanding premium/luxury brand mix and leading market position of these dealerships provide an attractive entry point into this new market and complement our existing operations in the United Kingdom.”

The Isaac Agnew Group joins the 170 Penske Automotive franchises owned and operated outside the U.S. However, while expanding their reach to the UK, Penske Automotive has remained the second-largest automotive retailer in the United States.


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Penske Automotive Expands Presence in United Kingdom

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Isaac Agnew, one of the UK’s top 25 franchised dealers, operates 16 dealerships representing nine brands, including Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mini, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, primarily around the Belfast area.

Funding for the acquisition has been exclusively provided to Sytner Group by Royal Bank of Scotland by means of a four-year term loan. The entire management team under the managing directorship of Yuile Magee will transfer to Sytner with the business.

David Agnew, former chairman of the family-owned group, said: “I am pleased that we are selling our business to Sytner who will provide a similar culture and environment to Agnews, a culture that rewards, respects and develops individual talents and has a strong focus on customer service.”

Gerard Nieuwenhuys, Sytner’s group managing director, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring a very successful Group with a similar brand portfolio as Sytner in a new geographical region. “We are excited by the prospect of working with a very talented and loyal management team who I am sure will make an important contribution to the wider Sytner Group”.

Yuile Magee, speaking on behalf of the Agnew’s management team, added: “We are excited by the opportunity of working with Sytner, a business that we have long admired and one that has a similar philosophy to that which we have developed in Agnews.” The acquisition was a share purchase and the dealerships will operate as an autonomous division of Sytner Group and trade under their existing dealership names.

Since 2002 Sytner has been owned by the Penske Automotive Group, based in Michigan USA. It has 172 franchises in the US and Puerto Rico and 155 internationally, mostly in the UK. In December 2011 Penske secured a £110 million credit facility from the Royal Bank of Scotland and BMW Financial Services to fund growth.

Source: AM- Online


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