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Lithia buys two dealerships

Lithia Motors Inc. of Medford has signed an agreement to buy two dealershipsin Bakersfield, Calif., for about $10.6 million.

The Bakersfield Nissan and Bakersfield BMW/Acura had combined sales of$41 million in 1996.

The purchases are the company's seventh and eighth since November 1996and bring Lithia's total locations to 13, with seven in California and sixin Oregon. They also mark Lithia's first Nissan, Acura and BMW franchises.

This acquisition is our first in the growing Bakersfield market,said Sidney DeBoer, Lithia chairman and CEO.

Separately, Lithia closed its previously announced acquisition of Magnussen-BarbeeFord of Napa, Calif. and began operating this month as Lithia Ford, Lincoln/Mercuryof Napa.