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Penske Looking at Possible Buy of Commonwealth Volkswagen-Audi in Santa Ana

December 22, 2009

From the Orange County Business Journal – Michigan’s Penske Automotive Group Inc. is interested in buying a Santa Ana auto dealership owned by the troubled Keuylian family.

Any deal for Commonwealth Volkswagen-Audi at the Santa Ana Auto Mall wouldn’t happen before the end of the year, said Tony Pordon, a senior vice president at Penske Automotive.

The Keuylians bought Commonwealth Volkswagen-Audi in 2007. They used to own and operate Santa Ana’s Lamborghini Orange County, the largest U.S. Lamborghini dealership.

Gary Willenborg, Commonwealth’s general manager, declined to comment on the matter.

Viken “Vik” Keuylian used to own the Santa Ana-based Lamborghini dealership and ran it with sisters, Nora, Astrid and Sossi Keuylian. The dealership abruptly closed in November 2008.

In May, Vik Keuylian pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He was charged with misusing $12 million in borrowed money from the credit arm of Lamborghini’s parent company Volkswagen AG.

Vik Keuylian’s sentencing is scheduled for March.

He also owned Lamborghini of Calabasas, which also closed.

If Penske buys the Commonwealth dealership, it would be an expansion in Orange County for the company, which also owns a Rancho Santa Margarita Toyota/Scion dealership.

Penske also owns nearby Longo Toyota in El Monte, the largest dealership in the nation. It also owns truck rental centers in OC.

Penske is the second largest publicly traded auto dealer group in the nation with about $9 billion in revenue. It owns and operates about 300 franchises, including about 150 in the U.S.

Florida’s AutoNation Inc. is the No. 1 dealer group.

By Sherri Cruz
Orange County Business Journal

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