Group 1 Automotive Consolidates Regional Structure
The firm has formed the West region by merging 11 dealerships of western region and the current central region. The West region will have a total of 58 dealerships with 79 franchises operating in California, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The newly formed West region will be managed by Frank Grese. Mr Grese was the regional vice president of the Central Region since 2006.
The firm has named Chris Hayden as market director of California, and will report to Mr Grese. Mr Hayden was CEO of Ford Retail within the Europe organization, since 2000. He was responsible for the operation of Ford's 60-plus company-owned dealerships in the UK.
Previously, Mr Hayden has operated Ford dealerships in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Austria, and served as the lead director of Dutton Forshaw Motor Group for 10 years and was responsible for Volkswagen, Audi, Ford and Peugeot dealerships operating in the greater-London market area.
The firm has also named David Hult to the newly created position of vice president of marketing. Mr Hult will report to Earl Hesterberg, president and CEO of the firm. He will be responsible for developing the company's marketing strategy by implementing several corporate strategic initiatives relating to the marketing of new and used retail vehicles, as well as parts and service.
Previously, Mr Hult served as regional vice president of the Eastern Region since 2006 after working in various positions within the Ira Motor Group since 1991.
In addition, the firm has named Daryl Kenningham as regional vice president of the East Region. Mr Kenningham succeeds Mr Hult, and will report to Mr Hesterberg. He most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Ascent Automotive.
Mr Kenningham will be responsible for the firm's 42 dealerships with 47 franchises operating in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.
Previously, Mr Kenningham has served in a variety of sales, marketing, finance and automotive-logistics positions with Gulf States Toyota. He started his career in 1988 and held a variety of sales, marketing and vehicle distribution positions in the United States and Japan with Nissan Motor Corporation.
Mr Hesterberg said: â€œThe consolidation of our three regions into two further strengthens and streamlines Group 1's operations. In addition, the creation of the corporate marketing position will allow us to enhance our marketing effectiveness and efficiency.
â€œWe are pleased to welcome Chris Hayden and Daryl Kenningham to Group 1's management team. Their respective expertise will strengthen our company which has proven automotive leaders with a wide range of brand and geographic experience.â€
Group 1 owns and operates 105 automotive dealerships, 136 franchises, and 28 collision service centers in the US and the UK that offer 30 brands of automobiles.
Will these changes affect the operations of the firm?
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