Executive Summary

Last year was a good one for new-auto dealers in L.A., especially those selling Toyotas.

With the Toyota Camry the top-selling car in L.A. County last year, and five other Toyota models among the top 25 sellers locally, dealers like No. 1 Longo Toyota and No. 8 Toyota of North Hollywood had a banner year. Both enjoyed sales increases of more than 20 percent over 1995.

Nissan dealers weren't quite as happy. Despite a groundbreaking new ad campaign, dealers across the country complained of poor sales last year. L.A. County's two biggest Nissan dealers, No. 9 Universal City Nissan and No. 22 Puente Hills Nissan-Infiniti, both saw sales declines in 1996.

The Pacesetter

Longo Toyota

President: Greg Penske

Longo Toyota is the top-selling Toyota dealership in the U.S., as well as the biggest physically it encompasses 22 acres of El Monte real estate.

Owned by the $4 billion-in-revenues Penske Corp., Longo Toyota is part of an automotive group that holds eight other dealerships in California, including Longo Lexus and Longo Motorcars (which sells Mercedes Benzes) in El Monte. Group President Greg Penske, 34, is the son of championship auto racer Roger Penske, founder of Penske Corp. which also makes diesel engines, leases trucks that transport cars to dealerships, and owns a chain of automotive service centers.

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