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Business briefs: Lithia's 'industry ambassador' will retire

Lithia 'ambassador'

will retire July 1

Former DCH Auto Group vice chairman Susan Scarola is leaving Lithia Motors on July 1.

Automotive News reports Scarola, one of the most high-profile women in auto retailing, played a pivotal role in bringing the high-volume import retailer into Lithia's fold last year. Since the deal was closed in October, she has been Lithia's "industry ambassador." DCH  Auto was among the country's 10 largest auto groups when it was purchased by Lithia, with 27 dealerships in Southern California, New Jersey and New York.

"Susan was an invaluable part of the combination of the two organizations, and she was intending to retire after the combination," Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer told Automotive News. "Her role was to find a suitor for DCH, make sure it went well and mentor it for a short period of time."

United Express plans

to add larger jets 

Local air travelers may have a little more leg room in coming months.

United Airlines said it will add 10 Embraer E175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. Additionally, United expects that the airline or one of the carriers that operate as United Express will buy 18 more E175 aircraft in the near term.

There is no indication how soon the new planes will fly into the Rogue Valley.

The E175s will offer 12 seats in United First and 64 seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats. The aircraft also offer more personal space for customers, with wider seats and aisles than most regional aircraft; a power outlet at each United First seat; and large overhead bins that can accommodate standard-size carry-on bags.

Erickson wins pair

of Alaska contracts

Aviation services provider Erickson Inc., has announced two Alaska contracts.

Erickson will expand its relationship with oil and gas operator Repsol, providing crew and cargo transport to the North Slope of Alaska. Erickson will supply medium-lift aircraft to support Repsol’s work as well as provide emergency response services. Erickson currently conducts work for Repsol in South America.

A separate pact with the U.S. Transportation Department supplies weekly, year-round helicopter essential air service for people and cargo between Nome, Wales, and Little Diomede. The community of Little Diomede is in the Arctic Circle near the International Date Line, along the shore of a steep mountain in the Bering Sea. Erickson has been providing airlift services to the community of Little Diomede for more than 50 years.