Originally created 05/04/04

Suzuki lot goes to Ford dealer

The owners of Augusta Lincoln Mercury have sold its Suzuki dealership's property and facilities to next-door neighbor Fairway Ford.

Fairway Ford will turn the four-acre property at 4339 Washington Road into a large used-car lot to be called the Evans Auto Mall.

The Suzuki dealership has been temporarily moved from Evans to the Lincoln Mercury lot at 3410 Washington Road.

The sale was completed Friday.

Financial details of the purchase, which includes the showroom, service centers and all furnishings, were not disclosed, and public information on the deal was not available Monday.

Fairway Ford owner David Karangu said it was in the "millions of dollars."

Mr. Karangu, who has owned Fairway since 1997, sold his Freedom Ford dealership in Thomson in March.

Lincoln Mercury general manager Mike Lacey, who was part owner of the Suzuki property, said he sold the land and buildings to raise money to purchase the Lincoln Mercury dealership from Jerry Spitler, who also has a stake in the Suzuki dealership.

Mr. Lacey said he is still hammering out the details of combining the Lincoln Mercury and Suzuki dealerships into one lot.

The three brands shared the lot for several months before the Suzuki facility opened in September.

The opening created a huge fanfare and drew about 50 business leaders, including American Suzuki president and grandson of the company's founder, Rick Suzuki, to the opening.

The dealership was the first in the United States to adopt Suzuki's new dealership concept, part of the company's plan to triple its sales by 2007.

Reach James Gallagher at (706) 823-3227 or james.gallagher@augustachronicle.com.


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