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Kuni Automotive Announces Acquisition by Holman Automotive

Deal will create one of the nation's largest family-owned dealer networks with significant charitable impact


Vancouver, Wash. - April 12, 2016 - Kuni Automotive of Vancouver, Washington, today

announced it is being acquired by Holman Automotive of Maple Shade, New Jersey. The

arrangement will create one of the largest privately owned dealer networks in the country; it

also ensures a long and sustainable future for the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni

Foundation.


Kuni Automotive, with dealerships in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and Kansas,

will maintain its brand name and will be known as "Kuni Automotive, a Holman Enterprise."

Holman currently has dealerships in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. The acquisition,

expected to be finalized this summer, will create a bi-coastal dealer network with 33

dealerships and more than $3 billion in overall annual revenue, doubling Holman

Automotive's retail holdings. The terms of the deal will not be disclosed.


It was vital to Kuni Automotive CEO Greg Goodwin to find a buyer who not only shares his

company's values, but would also create a company that is not just bigger, but better.

"Kuni Automotive is committed to actively planning for the future, because we take our role

as an employer seriously and want to continue the company's values set forth by the Kuni

Family. In partnering with Holman Automotive, we are creating a company that is greater

than the sum of its parts," said Goodwin, who will remain with the company in a leadership

position. "It's easy to get lost in the 'bigness' of this transaction, but 'big' doesn't serve a

purpose if it doesn't improve the company."


A key component of the arrangement is continuing the mission of the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan

E. Kuni Foundation, the largest shareholder of Kuni Automotive. The charitable foundation

has supported cancer research and worked to enhance the lives of developmentally disabled

adults since 2005.


The Kuni Foundation recently opened Stephen's Place, a facility in Vancouver, Washington,

designed to provide supported housing to adults with developmental disabilities, meeting the

diverse needs of its residents by enabling each of them to "age in place" as members of a

productive, independent community.

The deal secures the Foundation's ability to fund its work well into the future. Additionally,

the Foundation expects to be able to broaden the scope and geography of its charitable

outreach.


"Our two companies share a deep culture of charity and community service," said Melinda K.

Holman, Chairman of the Board of Holman, who will join the board of the Kuni Foundation.

"Knowing that more than half of the proceeds will go to the Kuni Foundation and serve

people in need for decades to come is a wonderful byproduct of this transaction."

The expansion between Kuni Automotive and Holman Automotive comes at a time of

consolidation and innovation in the automotive industry. Both parties share a commitment to

continuing the vision of Kuni Automotive's founder, the late Wayne D. Kuni.

"The deal with Holman Automotive will allow Kuni to remain a leader in the auto industry for

generations to come, and will ensure the Foundation continues its legacy of investments in the

community," said Sean Kuni, son of Wayne and Joan Kuni.

Once the deal has been finalized, Kuni Automotive, a Holman Enterprise, plans to remain a

privately owned company as it continues to grow and flourish.


About Holman Automotive Group

Holman, headquartered in Maple Shade, New Jersey, is an international automotive services

company, which employs more than 4,800 people. Beginning in 1924 as a single Ford

dealership, Holman has evolved to encompass five business segments that support diverse

sectors of the automotive market: Holman Automotive, a retail automotive group consisting of

19 dealerships throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida; Steward Financial Services,

an auto retail finance company; Holman Parts Distribution, a national multi-brand powertrain

parts distributor; Auto Truck Group, a truck up-fitting business; and ARI, the largest

privately-owned fleet leasing and management company in North America. Holman, a familyowned

business, focuses on building relationships and investing in people. With values

rooted by founder Steward C. Holman, the company continues to promote a culture of

philanthropy, which supports organizations such as the United Way and others important to

the Holman team.

Following the completion of its acquisition of Kuni Automotive in 2016, Holman will become

one of the largest privately owned dealership groups in the nation.


About Kuni Automotive

With 14 dealerships located in five western states and more than 1,450 employees, Kuni

Automotive is a family-owned company that strives to treat each one of its customers as a

member of the family. It was founded in 1970 by Wayne Kuni, then an investment manager for

Motors Company, a division of General Motors, as Kuni Cadillac in Beaverton, Oregon,

growing to the company it is today through a series of well-planned acquisitions. Following

Wayne Kuni's death in 2006, the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation became the

largest shareholder in the company, meaning that each sale benefitted a charitable

organization that supports cancer research and works to enhance the lives of developmentally

disabled adults in the Pacific Northwest.



For more information, please contact:

Kuni Automotive:

Kate Kimball, (503) 552-5009

kkimball@gardcommunications.com

Holman Automotive:

Jeff Cronin, (484) 342-3600

jcronin@ddcworks.com


  

At dealership group, it pays to pay bills

E-accounting helps score rebates

January 25, 2016 - 12:01 am ET
 
Automotive News

Paying bills is never fun, but at Kuni Automotive, it used to be downright onerous.

It took "seven or eight" people "one or two" days a week to manually process invoices and sign 90,000 checks a year, said Verna Daly, director of centralized accounting at Kuni.

All of those checks required two signatures. They still do.

But just over a year ago, accountants at the Vancouver, Wash., group's newly centralized accounting department started approving invoices for payment online, from virtually anywhere and at any time. They pay vendors electronically with a credit card that rebates the dealership group about $15,000 a month.

The group also has reduced the amount of paper its uses, freeing up a 10-by-12-foot storage unit for other uses.

Under the old system, "we had check-signing parties -- that was the only way to make it sound fun," Daly said, with a laugh.

"We'd pick a day, lock ourselves in a room. Sometimes, I'd order in lunch or pick a time of day when we knew there wasn't much going on and could be away from our desks. Starbucks was our best friend," she recalled.

Kuni ranks No. 68 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with new-vehicle retail sales of 13,110 in 2014.


Centralizing

Kuni Automotive, founded in 1969, has 15 stores in Oregon, California, Colorado and Washington. In 2011, it acquired the Pioneer Group.

The five former Pioneer stores used a dealer management system from ADP Dealer Services, now known as CDK Global. The Kuni stores used one from another vendor that Kuni CFO Laura Carlisle declined to name.

In 2012, around the time the Pioneer stores were being integrated into the group, Kuni also was moving accounting duties from each individual dealership to a centralized operation that served the entire dealership group.

"When they folded [the former Pioneer stores] into our company, we then had different computer systems that we needed to learn how to manage at the same time we were doing centralized accounting," said Carlisle. "So that was a complex thing to figure out.

"We decided to move to CDK, and now all our dealerships are on CDK. One system companywide makes it more efficient."

The next step was to find additional technology that would make the centralized accounting department even more efficient, Daly said.

In October 2014, the department began implementing an electronic payment system called Nvoicepay. It enabled the group's accounts payable staff to approve invoices online, which equates to an electronic signature that releases payments to vendors.

The payment process still takes two approvals from Daly and her designated staff, but it is less burdensome because they don't have to be in the same place at the same time to make it happen.

Also, the system integrates with the dealership group's DMS, she added. "I can approve an invoice during the day, or I can do it at home or when I'm traveling," Daly said. "You're paying your vendors, and that doesn't stop."


Pay, get a rebate

The group can pay vendors by electronic direct deposit, by a private credit card issued by the electronic payment system company or by MasterCard.

The method of payment depends on the vendor's preference. But given a choice, Kuni prefers to use the MasterCard, which rebates Kuni a percentage of what it spends, said Sara Humbert, the group's vice president of accounting and compliance.

The accounting department processes paper checks for the few vendors that request it, Daly said.

The centralized operations and new systems have enabled the group to make changes and streamline some tasks, Humbert said.

For example, the accounting department reconciles each dealership's bank account every day, providing each store with data about its cash positions by 9 a.m. That helps the dealership's controllers manage their store's cash, she said.

Before the changes, each store did this task for itself.

Said Daly: "It's our job to serve our dealerships, to be problem solvers and a resource for them."

See article on the Automotive news website at: http://bit.ly/1OZ7R83

 

Kuni's $5M gift helps put OHSU over the top on Knight Challenge

Last week's announcement that Oregon Health & Science University met its $500 million share of the Knight Cancer Challenge was followed by announcements from groups that helped put the challenge over the top.

Today, it's Kuni Automotive's turn. The Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation, identified by OHSU as key funders when the institution triggered Phil Knight's $500 million contribution, confirmed it has contributed $5 million.

Kuni joins the Cambia Health Foundation (which gave $4 million) and Consumer Cellular (which, in the largest corporate cash gift, gave $2 million) as recent big Knight Challenge donors.

Knight, and his wife Penny in October 2013 pledged to match $500 million if OHSU could raise it. It took just 20 months to raise the funds, believed to be a matching challenge record for the amount sought.

Kuni has backed several Kuni Scholars at OHSU over the years. Dr. Joshi Alumkal, a much-respected OHSU cancer researcher, is a Kuni Scholar who is credited with making great strides in prostate cancer research.

Kuni gives $5 million to OHSU cancer challenge

$11 million total raised in Clark County for effort

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

Published: 

More than 400 donors from Clark County helped Oregon Health & Science University reach its $500 million Knight Cancer Challenge fundraising goal.

OHSU announced last week it met the challenge posed by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny: raise $500 million in less than two years to earn the Knights' matching gift. The Knights issued the challenge in September 2013.

The $1 billion will support the first large-scale program dedicated to early detection of lethal cancers.

About 420 Clark County donors contributed more than $11 million toward that total, according to OHSU. At the top of that list is the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation, which donated $5 million.

"We're thrilled to continue investing in OHSU's work to revolutionize cancer treatment and early detection," said Jacki Gallo, the foundation's executive director.

The Kuni Foundation - created in 2005 by Wayne Kuni, who founded Vancouver-based Kuni Automotive in 1970 - has a long-standing relationship with OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute. Wayne Kuni's vision for the foundation was to support housing for developmentally disabled adults and cancer research, especially local and regional research, Gallo said.

The Knight Cancer challenge aligned perfectly with the foundation's mission, she said.

"We believe the Knight Cancer Institute will bring not only nationwide recognition but worldwide recognition," Gallo said. "The team (Dr.) Brian Druker is putting together will be world renowned."

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute will now begin recruiting about 25 of the world's top researchers. That core group will then hire an additional 225 to 275 scientists and physicians, building a team focused on the detection of cancer. The effort is headed by Druker, director of the Knight Cancer Institute and creator of Gleevec, a once-a-day cancer pill that treats chronic myeloid leukemia.

OHSU will also construct two buildings to house a state-of-the-art cancer research facility.

In all, more than 10,000 donors participated in the challenge. Donations were received from every state and five countries, according to OHSU.

The largest gift came from the state of Oregon, which invested $200 million for research and clinical facilities. Columbia Sportswear Chairwoman Gert Boyle gave the largest individual donation, $100 million.

Throughout the years, the Kuni Foundation has made grants totaling several million dollars to support several "Kuni Scholars" working in cancer research hospitals in the Northwest, including OHSU.

The foundation recently wrapped up its own $12 million project - a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities, called Stephen's Place - and saw OHSU coming down the final stretch of the Knight Cancer Challenge, Gallo said. The challenge presented the perfect opportunity for the foundation to get involved in cancer research again, she said.

"If they cure cancer, and we think they will, that's going to save millions and millions of lives," Gallo said.


 

The Kuni Foundation Contributes $5 Million to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

We are delighted to share news that The Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation contributed $5 million to Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute. The gift is dedicated to OHSU's Knight Cancer Challenge to transform early detection and treatment of cancer and save countless lives, which completed its $1 billion fundraising campaign on Thursday June 25th. The gift from the Kuni Foundation was one of a handful of major gifts in recent weeks that allowed the Knight Cancer Institute to meet the Challenge in record time. 

The Challenge included a matching pledge from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, and his wife, Penny - a pledge contingent on OHSU's ability to raise $500 million in two years. Over 10,000 donors from all 50 states contributed toward meeting The Challenge.

The gift is a fitting tribute to the long-standing relationship between the two organizations, and a reflection of Kuni's commitment to supporting OHSU's work to find smarter, foolproof ways to detect cancer in the early stages.

The Kuni Foundation is Kuni Automotive's largest shareholder. Since its founding in 2005, the Kuni Foundation has made grants totaling several million dollars to support the research of a number of "Kuni Scholars" working in leading cancer research hospitals in the Northwest, including OHSU. Kuni Scholars are carefully chosen by a scientific review panel, which works on behalf of the Foundation. One of OHSU's most prolific cancer researchers, Dr. Joshi Alumkal, is a Kuni Scholar who is credited with making great strides in prostate cancer research.

We congratulate OHSU on meeting this historic challenge. We're pleased to play a small role in their success. 


 

Steady growth atop used-vehicle rankings

Last year was a great year for used-vehicle sales. The top 100 dealership groups based in the U.S., as ranked by used-vehicle retail unit sales, increased those sales by a collective 9.9 percent to 2,560,013 in 2014. That outpaced the 5.9 percent rise in new U.S. light-vehicle retail sales. This supplement focuses on the used-vehicle operations of those groups. The data are drawn from the survey information that the Automotive News Data Center uses to produce its annual list of the top dealership groups based in the U.S. ranked by new-vehicle retail sales.

A dozen groups increased used retail sales 20 percent or more in 2014, while one-third of the top 100 boosted sales 10 percent or more. Fourteen groups on the list retailed fewer used vehicles in 2014 than in 2013.

At Kuni Automotive in Vancouver, Wash., used-vehicle retail sales jumped 34 percent last year to 15,365. That was the largest percentage gain of any group on the list.

Kuni, which ranks No. 24, was one of 11 on the list of 100 to sell more used vehicles than new ones.

Kuni CEO Greg Goodwin said the group added one store last year: Audi of Palo Alto (Calif.). But the new store was not the reason for the group's dramatic increase in used-vehicle sales. The group, he said, is getting the payoff from efforts over the past several years under the guidance of previous COO Joe Herman to put more emphasis on used-vehicle sales. Among the practices embraced under Herman's guidance is the group's use of used-vehicle inventory management tools. Herman died last year.

Kuni COO George Athan added: "There was never an intent or directive to grow our used-car department bigger than our new. I think it was the result of some of the business practices we put into place as a company."

Lithia Motors Inc. racked up the second largest percentage gain on the list. It increased it's used-vehicle sales 25 percent to 71,812, having acquired DCH Auto Group and its 27 dealerships on Oct. 1. Lithia did not disclose how many new and used retail sales DCH added to its count.

Performance Automotive Network of Fairfield, Ohio, near Cincinnati, raised its used-vehicle sales 25 percent to 14,219, for the fifth-largest percentage gain among the top 100. The group ranks No. 31 on the list.

Shane Dever, Performance Automotive vice president, attributed most of his group's increase to the acquisition of five dealerships in the Salt Lake City market last year: two Ford dealerships, one of which includes Lincoln, and one each selling Honda, Chevrolet- Buick and Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram.

"We owned the Toyota store in one of the same areas as one of the Ford stores and the Honda store, so it was a great fit," said Dever. "We wanted to expand in that market as well."

He said trade-ins are important to his used-vehicle sales operations because prices of used vehicles at auction are fairly steep. "We try to limit what we wholesale as much as possible," he added.

March-Hodge Automotive of Tampa, Fla., added a Honda store in Chantilly, Va., to its group, boosting its used-vehicle sales 16 percent to 6,832 last year, said co-CEO Tony March.

"It was a large open-point Honda store; it was literally a no-brainer," he said. "Anyone in the car business would have wanted to open that store." He said his used-vehicle sales in general are helped by a used-vehicle inventory management tool that helps his group buy the right vehicle at the right price, then price it to maximize its retail sale.

The ranking of the top 10 groups in used vehicle sales, which include seven publicly held companies, was unchanged from the previous year. Collectively, the top 10 sold 1,511,328 used vehicles, or 59 percent of all used retail sales by the top 100. The seven public groups alone sold 1,290,704 used vehicles last year, or half of the top 100's total.

Publicly held CarMax Inc., the nation's largest used-vehicle retailer by far, is mainly responsible for the dominant share of used retail sales held by the top 10. Its sales of used cars and trucks increased 18 percent to 526,929 in its fiscal year that ended Feb. 28, 2014. CarMax accounted for 21 percent, or just more than one of every five, of the vehicles sold by the top 100. Revenue from those sales increased 18 percent to $10.3 billion.

Data from CarMax's most recent full fiscal year, which ended Feb. 28, were unavailable when the ranking was compiled. Those data, released April 2, showed that CarMax's used vehicle retail sales rose 11 percent to 582,282.

 

 

A Gift for Stephen's Place!

The long awaited opening of Stephen's Place, a non profit community for adults with developmental disabilities, has finally arrived! The Construction & building of the community was fully funded by the Kuni Foundation and private donors.  Stephen's Place first residents recently moved in and  more are on the way! With residents moving in, a need for transportation was apparent. Kuni Automotive stepped up to help and this past Friday held a special ceremony at the Kuni Garage to present a brand new fully loaded 2015 Honda Odyssey to the staff and residents!

The employees of The Garage gathered to hear CEO Greg Goodwin talk about the opening of Stephen's Place. He discussed how Wayne Kuni, the founder of Kuni Automotive, created the Kuni Foundation to give back to the community and to help fund cancer research & housing for people with disabilities. He went on to explain how the creation of Stephen's Place is very much a part of Wayne's legacy. He talked about how by creating the Kuni Foundation, Wayne gave Kuni Automotive a purpose as a company and by doing so gave meaning and purpose to the employees who at The Garage and it's dealerships.

 Afterward Mr.Goodwin presented a giant symbolic key to Stephen's Place CEO Jacki Gallo.

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Industry Notes: Automotive dealer of the year 

By Vickie Kavanagh | The Oregonian/OregonLive 

on February 04, 2015 at 5:00 PM, updated February 05, 2015 at 10:05 AM



PORTLAND -- Greg Goodwin, chief executive officer of Kuni Automotive, was named one of four regional finalists for the TIME Dealer of the Year award.

This award is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation's most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

2015-goodwin-greg.jpgView full sizeGreg Goodwin 

Goodwin, 64, was chosen to represent the Oregon Auto Dealers Association in the competition - one of only 55 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide - nominated for the 46th annual award.

He was nominated in part for his position as dealer and owner of Kuni Lexus of Portland, one of four Lexus dealerships in the nation to receive the prestigious Elite of Lexus award every year since its inception 23 years ago.

Goodwin took his first job in the retail automotive industry working in finance and insurance in 1978 for a dealership in Salinas, California.

In 1986, he moved to Oahu, Hawaii, to run a Honda dealership where he met Wayne A. Kuni. They founded Kuni Lexus in Denver and soon established themselves as the leading luxury brand in their primary market.

Today, Kuni Automotive owns 15 dealerships in Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado. The company headquarters -- The Kuni Garage -- is located in Vancouver, Washington. Local dealerships include Kuni Lexus of Portland and Kuni BMW in Beaverton.

Kuni died in 2006 at the age of 75. Shortly before his death, Kuni transferred his shares to a charitable trust.

"Wayne's decision to transfer his company shares to the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation, which has donated millions to cancer research and supported housing for developmentally disabled adults, left me in a unique role in our industry: dealer, CEO and steward," said Goodwin in a news release.

He says he takes pride in shepherding the company founded by his mentor and continues to give back to the communities his dealerships serve.  

Kuni Automotive also is a lead sponsor of the Classic Wines Auction of Portland, which raises money for five charities that serve the needs of low-income families.

Other organizations supported by Goodwin include Randall Children's Hospital in Portland (former co-chair of capital campaign), Medical Teams International in Tigard, Oregon (member, leadership council and former auction co-chair), Friends of the Children (national board of directors member) and George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon (president's council).

He and his wife, Michele, have four children and two grandchildren.

-- Vickie Kavanagh

vkavanagh@oregonian.com

Via: Oregon Live

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Kuni chief lands prestigious national dealer honor

Jan 27, 2015, 7:54am PST

Digital Managing Editor-
Portland Business Journal


 

A Portland auto dealer has brought home a much-coveted industry honor.

Greg Goodwin, CEO of Portland's Kuni Automotive, was named a regional finalist for the TIME Dealer of the Year award. The award honors "the nation's most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service."

Goodwin was notified of the honor last Friday at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Exposition in San Francisco. As a finalist, he received $5,000 to give to the charity of his choice.

Goodwin is on the Classic Wines Auction board and is chair of the group's auction.The event raised $3.4 million in 2014.

Kuni donated two BMW i8s to the event.

He's also done work on behalf of Randall Children's Hospital, Medical Teams International and Friends of the Children.

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Kuni Automotive revved up for growth

Vancouver-based dealership has new headquarters, acquisitions in the West

By Courtney Sherwood, Columbian freelance writer

Published: 

 

What: Network of 15 luxury auto dealerships with more than 1,450 employees across Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington.

Headquarters: 17800 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., No. 190, Vancouver

Projected 2014 revenue: $1.2 billion.

CEO: Greg Goodwin.

Web: www.kuniauto.com/index.htm

Walk through the floor-to-ceiling glass front door, and you might think you've been transported to the high-tech halls of Silicon Valley.

Here, at one of Vancouver's largest companies, a ping-pong table beckons employees to stay active when they take a break. The scent of spices wafts from the office's commercial-grade kitchen. Even on a cloudy day, enough sun shines through the wall of windows to make the polished concrete floors gleam.

But then there are the cars: High-end vehicles parked next to meeting nooks and alongside corporate logos, showing visitors to Kuni Automotive headquarters what this $1.2 billion business is really all about.

"Welcome," says Kuni CEO Greg Goodwin. "To The Garage."

After two years in his company's gleaming corporate headquarters, home to about 50 employees from the luxury auto dealership chain's management and finance teams, Goodwin says he still feels revitalized each time he shows up at the office.

He and Chief Financial Officer Laura Carlisle conceived of the space they call "The Garage" after Kuni acquired a chain of Colorado Land Rover dealerships in 2011. That acquisition more than tripled the size of Kuni's headquarters staff, and there just wasn't enough room in the company's old headquarters.

They found a 15,000-square-foot former call center inside Columbia Tech Center, then hired C2K Architecture Inc. to remove the carpet and drop ceilings and design a space inspired by Google and Facebook headquarters - and by the automotive garages that are central to their industry.

At the time, Goodwin, who joined Kuni in 1990 and became CEO in 1999, thought he was cementing his legacy.

"I thought I'd retire at age 65 or 66," Goodwin says.

The new headquarters changed his mind.

"I love this place," he says. "It doesn't feel like just any office. I love the energy, I love the people. I feel like I'm back in love with the car business. I'll be 64 in January, and I'm not making any plans to leave."

Then, growing more sober, Goodwin notes that former Kuni Chief Operating Officer Joseph Herman worked nearly to the end of his life. Herman died in October of pancreatic cancer at age 72.

"I have personal goals for this company, a view of where we can end up as a result of my time in this position," he says. "But I don't think I'll follow Joe Herman down his path. I don't think I'll be working full time in my 70s."

Gunning for growth

Goodwin deflects questions about just how big he wants Kuni Automotive to become, but recent history suggests that growth is a big part of his vision for the future.

After a rough period for the auto industry in general, Kuni finished 2010 with annual sales of under $500 million - less than it told The Columbian it made in 2004. But the company had saved enough to weather the downturn, Goodwin says, and it invested those profits in growth when the economy started picking up.

In the past five years, Kuni has purchased a Chevrolet dealership in California, Audi and Land Rover dealerships in California and Colorado, and a Porsche dealership in California. The company also opened its first Washington Infiniti sales floor, in Lynwood.

Profit margins are razor thin at auto dealers in the 21st century, and growth allows Kuni to stay competitive in a changing marketplace, Goodwin says. Kuni is pursuing a strategy that's unfolding nationwide, according to a recent report in Automotive News, a trade publication that covers the industry.

Kuni's growth has landed it a spot on a list of the hundred largest dealership chains in the U.S. compiled by WardsAuto, an industry data tracker that ranked Kuni Automotive as No. 45 in the nation last year. Among Pacific Northwest dealers, only Medford, Oregon-based Lithia Motors (No. 10 in the U.S.) ranked higher.

And this year, Goodwin predicts that Kuni's sales will grow to $1.2 billion, up from $1 billion in 2013.

The industry is taking note. This November, the National Auto Dealer Association announced that Goodwin was one of 55 dealership executives nominated for the 2015 Time Dealer of the Year Award, out of more than 17,000 candidates nationwide. The winner will be named Jan. 23.

Looking ahead

While Goodwin says he expects the growth initiative that his company launched three years ago to continue for the near future, he also believes that the next chief executive of Kuni Automotive will face major shifts in the automotive industry.

Some of the changes that are coming reflect new government rules. By 2025, new cars will have to average 54.5 mpg in fuel economy. That's prompting automakers to invest heavily in electric and hybrid cars, and also spurring a range of other innovations aimed at making cars lighter and more efficient, according to Car and Driver magazine.

But Goodwin also anticipates a cultural change in how people think about driving in this country: Young adults are less enamored with cars than their parents.

Kuni's high-end brands, which include Lexus, Audi, Porsche and BMW, sell to an older demographic. But as today's 20-somethings age, they may well buy fewer luxury cars than their baby boomer parents, he says.

"With immigration, with population growth, people will still buy cars," Goodwin says. He believes that today's 20-somethings may buy more vehicles as they marry and start having children, and that high-tech innovations will prompt people to trade in old vehicles for new.

Even so, he says, the auto industry will be a different place in 10 or 20 years. Kuni Automotive will be under different leadership, though Goodwin declines to name his top candidate to follow in his footsteps.

"There are a lot of men and women in this company who have the potential to run Kuni, three of them with 'chief' in the title," Goodwin says, alluding to his top-level staff. "In the next several years, we'll have to make that choice."

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Classic Wines Auction Press Release

January 15,2014

 


First BMW i8 Hybrid in the Pacific Northwest Up For Auction in Portland 

Kuni Automotive donates BMW i8 to be auctioned off at 2014 Classic Wines Auction; Low Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) sets the starting bid price at more than $135,000 

PORTLAND, Ore. - The first BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car for sale in the Pacific Northwest will be auctioned off at the 30th Annual Classic Wines Auction on March 1, 2014. 

Kuni Automotive and Kuni BMW, presenting sponsor for the auction for a fourth year, donated the car to be sold at the Classic Wines Auction (CWA) to help raise money for five benefiting charities in Portland and southwest Washington that support children and families. 

"We strive not only to be the premium provider of luxury cars in the west, but also a leader in philanthropy and support for children and families in the communities we serve," said Greg Goodwin, Kuni Automotive President and CEO. "Through our partnership with the Classic Wines Auction, we're able to come together in support of an important cause for our city."

 The BMW i8, which was revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany last September, is BMW's first-ever plug-in hybrid sports car. The i8, which can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, can reach speeds of 155 mph and get up to 94 mpg. The starting price tag is set at $135,700 with a limited number of the cars arriving in the U.S. this spring, following the auction. 

Due to the small quantity that will be available in the U.S., auction representatives announced that absentee/proxy bidding will be made available to interested parties outside of Oregon.

 "We can't thank the Kuni Automotive team enough for their generosity and dedication to our mission," said Heather Martin, CWA Executive Director. "With the backing of our sponsors, winemakers, restaurants and event guests who offer their donations, time and support, year after year, we continue to raise money for those in need in our community."

Held at the Oregon Convention Center every March, the auction attracts nearly 1,000 wine and food enthusiasts and philanthropists from across the nation. This year the 2014 Classic Wines Auction celebrates 30 years in operation, $30 million raised, and more than 700,000 children and families served since its inception in 1982. More than $2.9 million was raised for the 2013 event.

2014 benefiting charities include: Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children-Portland, YWCA Clark County and Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. 

For more information about the Classic Wines Auction, contact Heather Martin at (503) 972-0194 or visit www.classicwinesauction.com 

About Classic Wines Auction 

Consistently recognized as one of the top ten charity wine auctions in the country by Wine Spectator magazine since 2001, the Classic Wines Auction has raised more than $30 million for Portland-area charities since its inception in 1982. Based in Portland, Ore., Classic Wines Auction, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing the Classic Wines Auction and related food and wine events to raise funds for local charities benefiting children and families, including: Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children-Portland, YWCA Clark County and Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. See more at www.classicwinesauction.com

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Kuni Automotive Announces Three Executive Promotions

Joe Herman will serve as executive vice president; George Athan III as chief operating officer;

and Matt Newell as chief legal officer 

 

Vancouver, Wash. - July 14, 2014 - Kuni Automotive, one of the West Coast's premier auto groups with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, today announced three key promotions: former chief operating officer Joe Herman will serve as executive vice president; George Athan III, former president and general manager at Kuni's Audi San Diego location, will fill the role of chief operating officer; and former general counsel Matt Newell will serve as chief legal officer.

 

"We are excited about Kuni's future with Joe as executive vice president, George as chief operating officer and Matt as chief legal officer," said Greg Goodwin, chief executive officer of Kuni Automotive. "All three have a proven ability to deliver great service to the communities we serve."

 

Goodwin added, "Kuni began as a family-owned company, and we continue to treat our employees and customers as part of the family. Joe, George and Matt are committed to Kuni's professional philosophy of doing the right thing every time. They are key members of our team and we are fortunate to have their leadership as we grow."

 

Joe Herman joined Kuni in 2010 and is a well-known leader in the automotive industry. He brings four decades of hands-on experience and a wealth of expertise to the company, with direct oversight of more than 200 dealerships during his career. Herman has been promoted to executive vice president and previously served as Kuni's chief operating officer.

 

George Athan III brings more than a decade of leadership experience in the automotive industry. During his two years as president and general manager of Audi San Diego, the dealership experienced a 100 percent growth in sales and jumped from 94th to 39th among Audi dealerships. As chief operating officer, Athan will play a major role in ensuring that Kuni continues to provide industry leading customer service, superior brand representation and top tier operating performance.

 

Prior to joining Kuni, Matt Newell practiced law in the Corporate, Securities and Finance Group of Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon. Matt has a wide range of expertise in both business and legal matters, having represented and advised public and private companies on corporate governance, federal and state securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, and more.


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Kuni Automotive Acquires Audi Dealership in Palo Alto

Vancouver, WA based auto group with more than $1 billion in revenue expands in California

 

 

Vancouver, WA - April 1, 2014 - Kuni Automotive, one of the West Coast's premier auto groups with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, today announced the acquisition of Carlsen Audi in Palo Alto, California. The acquisition brings the total number of Kuni dealerships to 15, with locations in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

 

"We are excited to expand our presence in California and invest in the growth and success of the Palo Alto facility, as well as provide great service to the surrounding community," said Greg Goodwin, Chief Executive Officer of Kuni Automotive. "We are also pleased to build on our strong relationship with Audi, bringing our total number of Audi dealerships to three."

 

Jason Mattia will oversee Palo Alto operations as President and General Manager. Mattia, his wife and three children are long-time residents of Santa Cruz. During nearly 30 years of professional experience, Mattia has held a variety of general manager roles and is familiar with all facets of the automotive industry. Mattia previously worked as a partner and general manager with Kuni, and has owned and operated dealerships in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

Goodwin added, "Jason brings significant expertise and experience, and is committed to Kuni's professional philosophy of doing the right thing every time. He is a key member of our team and we are fortunate to have his leadership as we grow in California."

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Kuni Automotive Announces Acquisition of Audi Dealership in Boulder, Colorado


Kuni Automotive, a privately held company based in Vancouver, Washington, announces the acquisition of its 15th new vehicle dealership with the purchase of Stammler Audi of Boulder, Colorado. The Audi dealership was previously owned by Adolph Stammler of Boulder since its opening in 1973. The newly named "Audi Boulder" joins Audi San Diego to become the second Audi dealership in the Kuni Automotive group.

The President/General Manager of Audi Boulder is Jaymie Hampson. Prior to her move to Boulder, Ms. Hampson was Fixed Operations Director for Kuni BMW of Beaverton, Oregon. She has worked for Kuni Automotive dealerships, including Kuni Lexus of Portland, Oregon since 2004. Ms. Hampson's prior experience includes positions in the business office, service, sales, and Chief Operating Officer for an automotive group based in Northern California.

Kuni Automotive owns and operates dealerships in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado, representing Lexus (4 dealerships), Audi (2), BMW, Land Rover (3), Porsche, Infiniti, Honda, Volkswagen, Cadillac, and Chevrolet. The acquisition puts Kuni Automotive on track to exceed $1B in sales for calendar 2013, an important new milestone for the company, which has 1100 employees throughout its dealerships and at its headquarters, "The Kuni Garage," in Vancouver, Washington.

Greg Goodwin, Chief Executive Officer of Kuni Automotive, announced the acquisition by first congratulating Jaymie Hampson, saying "Jaymie has been a key member of our management team and a true standout in terms of delighting guests, recruiting and training the industry's best technicians, and demonstrating her commitment to the Kuni philosophy of "doing the right thing every time." Kuni is proud to once again promote from within by offering Jaymie the opportunity to become part owner of this exciting dealership."

Goodwin also stated that "We are pleased to expand our operations in Colorado, as Audi Boulder joins Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village, Kuni Lexus of Colorado Springs, Kuni Honda (Arapahoe Road in Centennial, Colorado), Land Rover Denver East, and Land Rover Highlands Ranch, becoming our sixth Colorado dealership. We are excited to expand our relationship with Audi and its incredible lineup of vehicles that are tailor made for Colorado's active, outdoor-loving population."

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Kuni Automotive Buys 5 Dealerships

Pioneer Centres dealerships in San Diego and Denver, Colo. were sold to Kuni Automotive, MD Johnson Inc.announced Thursday. MD Johnson is a U.S. provider of automotive dealership buy/sell financial advisory services.

Pioneer owned and operated Audi, Porsche and Land Rover dealerships in San Diego on Miramar Boulevard, next to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Base. Pioneer Centres also owned and operated two Land Rover dealerships in the suburban Denver market.

Kuni Automotive owns and operates dealerships in Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado and employs more than 800 team members. Kuni owns and operates Audi, Lexus, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche, Infiniti, Honda, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Buick and GMC dealerships. The Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation are the beneficial owners of the dealership group along with Greg Goodwin, CEO of Kuni Automotive.

Richard Eason provided legal services for Jack Brewer. Matthew Newell provided legal services to Kuni. Robert Jensen and Susan Dukes executed the transaction on behalf of Pioneer.

"Kuni valued the organization Jack and his team built over several decades. They were an excellent fit for Jack and the Pioneer team," said Mark Johnson, president of MD Johnson Inc.

The dealerships have been renamed Land Rover Denver East, Land Rover Highlands Ranch, Land Rover San Diego, Audi San Diego and Porsche of San Diego.

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Kuni Automotive Donates to Japan Relief

Kuni Automotive, parent company of 11 automobile dealerships located in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado, has donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross for Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts. The funds were contributed by Kuni Automotive corporate headquarters of Vancouver, Washington; Lexus of Portland, Oregon; Kuni Lexus of Seattle and Kuni Westside Infiniti of Lynnwood, Washington; Kuni Honda of Centennial, Colorado; Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village, Colorado; and Kuni Lexus of Colorado Springs.

Greg Goodwin, CEO of Kuni Automotive, cited Kuni's strong ties to the three largest Japanese automakers Toyota (Lexus), Honda, and Nissan (Infiniti), saying our 750 employees and shareholders are heartbroken at the immense loss of life and the scale of destruction that these events have caused. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our many dear friends in Japan, to their families, their employees, and their fellow countrymen. We have long admired the spirit of the Japanese people. We are confident that same spirit will prevail in the coming months and years.  We know that the resulting recovery and reconstruction will once again demonstrate the remarkable resilience and optimism of the Japanese nation.

The company has also requested that employees and customers who wish to donate to Japan relief efforts do so through the American Red Cross, httph.

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Kuni Automotive buys Daugherty Chevrolet

Mike Daugherty Chevrolet on Fulton Avenue in Sacramento is closing its doors Friday and is expected to open next week as Kuni Chevrolet, according to Kuni Automotive Group CEO Greg Goodwin.

Kuni, based in Vancouver, Wash., is the longtime owner of Hubacher Auto Center - which sells Cadillac, Saab, Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands - and Roseville Volkswagen. Goodwin said Friday afternoon that Kuni has been "working for some time in purchasing the assets for the Chevrolet dealership and the real estate there and where the Hummer dealership have been operating, and we're negotiating with General Motors... to reopen the Chevrolet dealership at the same address."

Goodwin said he expects the dealership to reopen "late next week." The Hubacher Auto Center, meanwhile, will move to the former Hummer facility next door to the Daugherty site and open as Kuni Buick GMC Cadillac.

As for the current employees, Goodwin said, "we will be retaining most of the jobs in the two companies, but we don't have that sorted out yet."

Kuni began as a Cadillac dealership in 1970 in Beaverton, Ore. It now has dealerships in Roseville, Sacramento, Denver, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Portland, Ore.

Mike Daugherty Chevrolet has been in operation in Sacramento since 1955.



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2009 Center of Excellence Award


Coming off a record sales performance for January 2009; Kuni BMW was just awarded "Center of Excellence" for their efforts in 2008. This is BMW's highest award for customer satisfaction, awarded to the top 31 performing dealers in the United States. This proves that when you focus on providing great value, and satisfying your clients, you can perform well even in tough times.


The prestigious 2009 Center of Excellence Award, which is presented annually by BMW of North America, to recognize sales and service leadership with the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Kuni BMW was one of only 5 dealers in the western region, and the only BMW dealer in the Northwest to receive this prestigious award.
Jim O'Donnell, President of BMW North America states, "The Center of Excellence award is reserved for those dealers who have aligned with BMW business strategies to achieve exceptional brand representation, operational excellence and consistent delivery of a superior customer experience."

Kuni BMW President, Shanon Mornhinweg, commented on the award saying, "In today's challenging business environment, here at Kuni BMW, we have continued to perform well and consistently outperform our competition by a wide margin. I believe that we have been able to accomplish this because of our entire team's commitment to hard work and customer satisfaction."

"Center of Excellence is BMW's highest and most sought after award", Mornhinweg added. "It is a team award and is only given to the top 31 dealers in the country. This is truly an awesome achievement. Here at Kuni BMW we are very proud and humbled to receive such an award. We understand that getting to the top in customer service is just the beginning of our journey. Kuni BMW will work diligently to remain the leader and one of the best in the country."

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Kuni Foundation gives $1.3 million in grants


The Kuni Foundation's first round of grants total more than $1.3 million to support two causes: cancer research and caring for educable developmentally disabled adults.

The founder of Kuni Automotive, Wayne Kuni was the victim of three kinds of cancer, and was the father of two developmentally disabled children, said Carl Christoferson, president of the foundation.

Over 35 years, Kuni built his Beaverton-based company into a chain of dealerships across four Western states. When Kuni was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004, he set to work creating the Kuni Foundation that was to direct much of his company's proceeds to charity. It was established in 2005, and he died at 75 in February 2006.

The first Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation awards will go to cancer studies at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, at Providence Medical Center and at Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center. The Cedar Sinai Park in Southwest Portland got a $200,000 challenge grant for developmentally disabled supported housing, and New Hope Farms in Goldendale, Wash., got $150,000 for developmentally disabled programs.

- Amy Martinez Starke, The Oregonian
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