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Asbury Automotive Group to Get Funding From Big Three

January 18, 2001

Asbury Automotive Group LLC, one of the largest auto retailers in the U.S., is announcing a $1.3 billion agreement as the financing arms of the Big Three automakers help it buy more dealerships.

Ford Motor Company's Ford Motor Credit, General Motors Corporation's General Motors Acceptance Corporation and DaimlerChrysler AG's DaimlerChrysler Services North America will provide a credit facility that includes $550 million for acquisitions and working capital and $750 million in floorplan financing, which covers the cost of stocking vehicles at dealership lots.

The unusual three-way investment in Asbury represents an change of direction for the Big Three, which not long ago worried that dealership consolidators like Asbury would dilute their control over markets.

The deal will make it easier for large dealership holding companies to acquire more car and light-truck franchises. GM, Ford and DCX see the loan as a way to prevent smaller, independent dealers from selling to unwanted

buyers, according to the Detroit News.

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