HOUSTON, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: GPI), an international, Fortune 500 automotive retailer, today announced the acquisition of Heller Ford and Heller Hyundai in Southern California. The dealerships, which will operate as Ford of Escondido and Hyundai of Escondido, are expected to generate $135 million in estimated annual revenues.
"Beginning 2014 with the acquisition of two strong brands that expand our footprint within the San Diego metropolitan area is a great start to the year," said Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1's president and chief executive officer. "We plan to continue to grow our Company and these are two powerful brands in a very strong market."
Additions to Brazilian Management Team
Group 1 also announced important additions to the top management team for its Brazilian operation effective immediately. The additions consist of three key new leadership positions: director of commercial operations; director of finance and chief financial officer; and director of human resources and administration. The positions report to Lincoln Pereira, Group 1's regional vice president and a member of the Group 1 board of directors. Two of the individuals join Group 1 from outside the auto industry and the third is an experienced automotive retail executive, who was a founder of United Auto Brazil (UAB), the company purchased by Group 1 in February 2013.Specifically, the three new top managers are:
- Andre Ribeiro, one of the founding members of UAB, has been appointed as director of commercial operations. Ribeiro, who has extensive retail automotive experience in Brazil, will now be responsible for all dealership operations including new and used vehicle sales, marketing, parts and service, finance and insurance, and quality. Ribeiro also represents Group 1 Brazil in multiple manufacturer dealer associations as the president of the Jaguar, Land Rover Dealer Council, and as vice president of the Honda Dealer Council. Following a long and successful career as a professional race car driver in Europe and the U.S., Ribeiro became an auto retailer in Brazil in 1998.
- Eduardo Amaral Marques has been appointed as director of human resources and administration of Group 1 Brazil. Marques has over 11 years of increasing management responsibility within Unilever Brazil and served as customer supply chain director for L'Oreal Latin America prior to joining Group 1. Marquez will be responsible for information technology, administration, procurement and all facets of human resources.
- Rafael De Gouveia Ramalho has been named director of finance and chief financial officer of Group 1 Brazil. Ramalho will be responsible for all accounting, financial controls, financial analysis and reporting, treasury, and budgeting. Ramalho has an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and worked as a senior consultant for Booz & Company in Brazil and the Middle East. Prior to joining Group 1, he served as chief financial officer of Usebens Seguradora. Ramalho will report to John C. Rickel, Group 1's senior vice president and chief financial officer, as well as to Lincoln Pereira.
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