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Lithia

: now in Roseburg, too

Motors Inc. has acquired dealerships all over the West as it expanded its business.

This week, the Medford-based company chose to stay closer to home when it bought Parkway Auto Group in Roseburg.

It's a pretty good-sized store, said Jeff DeBoer, company vice president. It's the biggest one in Roseburg.

Parkway Auto Group consists of two dealerships that operate the franchises for nine product lines. Last year, the Roseburg group sold about $66 million worth of cars and trucks.

purchased the dealerships from Jerry Bruce of Roseburg for about $6.9 million in cash and 122,770 shares of stock, DeBoer said.

The auto group began operating under the name Parkway on Monday.

The new stores are the 32nd and 33rd that has taken over since it went public in 1996.

now operates 92 franchises in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado. DeBoer said his company wants to continue to focus on the Western and inter-mountain states.

With the new dealerships, expects its annualized revenues to be more than $1.3 billion and the company to sell about 58,600 new and used cars at retail this year. The company sold 31,353 new and used vehicles at retail in 1998.

DeBoer said the new stores are strategically located between Eugene and Medford.

The product lines of the new Roseburg stores are: Ford, Lincoln/Mercury, Dodge, Dodge Truck, Toyota, GMC/Oldsmobile and Nissan.

Don Jones Jr., vice president of operations, said this is 's first Ford dealership in Oregon.

DeBoer said his company is still looking to purchase more dealerships and is currently in negotiations with other companies.

DeBoer said his firm has two acquisition teams that help bring new dealerships into the family.

He said his company will keep the 185 employees of the Roseburg auto group. The same people are going to be running the store, DeBoer said. We'll just be putting on a few new controls and adding some new marketing techniques.

And try to to sell more cars.