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Penske has acquired Santa Ana-based Commonwealth Audi and Commonwealth Volkswagen

January 19, 2010

From the Orange County Business Journal – Michigan’s Penske Automotive Group Inc. has acquired Santa Ana-based Commonwealth Audi and Commonwealth Volkswagen, owned by the troubled Keuylian family, for an undisclosed amount.

The Santa Ana dealerships and several others owned by Penske in Southern California, including a Rancho Santa Margarita Toyota/Scion dealership, should generate $80 million in yearly revenue, the company said.

“We are pleased to increase our presence in the Southern California market,” said George Brochick, executive vice president for Penske Automotive Group’s Western region.

The Volkswagen and Audi dealerships “offer outstanding product portfolios in the volume and luxury segments and represent a tremendous opportunity for Penske Automotive Group to grow its business in this key geographic market,” he said.

In late December, Penske Automotive Group’s Tony Pordon, a senior vice president, told the Business Journal that Penske was looking into buying Commonwealth Volkswagen-Audi.

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.

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 late 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.

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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