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Lithia buys dealership in Hawaii

Lithia Motors' farthest outpost is no longer in Texas.

The nation's ninth-largest auto retailer has acquired Island Honda of Kahului, Hawaii, more than 2,400 miles to the southwest of its Medford headquarters.

Lithia now operates 95 stores, including 11 Honda franchises, in 12 Western states.

"We seek exclusive franchises in the markets we serve and believe operating the only Honda store on Maui, with a population of 144,000, will compliment this strategy," Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement.

Family-owned Kitagawa Motors, the long-time Honda dealer in Maui, also sold its Island Subaru dealership next door to Honolulu-based Servco Pacific's Servco Automotive division.

The Maui News reported the Kitagawa family, which had been doing business since 1959, said it was time to sell the dealerships in order to "preserve what we have worked so hard for and to insure our employees' long-term security and well-being." Lithia plans to retain all of the Island Honda employees.

— Greg Stiles