CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: SAH) announced today that its Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. David P. Cosper, has notified the Company that he intends to retire effective at a yet-to-be-determined date sometime during the first quarter of 2013. The Company is initiating a formal search for a successor CFO. Mr. O. Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Sonic Automotive, Inc., stated, " Dave Cosper has contributed a great deal to Sonic Automotive since he first joined our company in March 2006. He has been instrumental in helping our Company strengthen our balance sheet and simplify our capital structure. Dave has further shown outstanding leadership for our company, developing a very capable financial team that will ensure continuity and an orderly transition as our Company searches for a new CFO. We are thankful for Dave's contributions to Sonic, and we wish him and his lovely wife, Pam, the best of success, happiness and enjoyment in retirement. Dave is leaving us on a very strong financial footing." Mr. Cosper stated, "I have greatly enjoyed my time at Sonic Automotive for the last 6+ years, and am very appreciative of the opportunity that I've had to serve as the Company's Vice Chairman and CFO. I'm particularly proud of the operational and financial successes achieved by our company since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009. After our company's recent successful offering of 7% Senior Subordinated Notes and related successful exchange offer for our previously outstanding 5% Convertible Senior Notes, I feel confident that Sonic's balance sheet and capital structure are as strong as they have ever been, and I feel like this is a great time for me to turn to the next chapter in my life. The Company has a strong management team, great people, a sound strategy and positive momentum going forward."