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RETAILING

Compiled by Mary Ann Galante, Times staff writer

Campbell Automotive Group, one of Orange County’s biggest auto dealership groups, has been awarded a franchise to sell and service the General Motors’ new Saturn line.

The franchise marks the first move by Campbell since a British auto retailer, Lex Service PLC, agreed to pay $13.5 million for a 50% stake in the company last April.

John Campbell, president and chief executive, said the Saturn franchise covers an area that starts in Orange and ends in downtown Los Angeles. It includes Orange, Yorba Linda, Garden Grove, Westminster, Buena Park, and Fullerton and services up to 2.5 million people.

Campbell broke the news this week while Trevor Chen, chief executive of Lex Service, was in Orange County visiting Campbell’s seven dealerships. According to Chen, Lex’s investment in Campbell has been approved by six out of seven car manufacturers represented by the dealerships, with the seventh having “just a few details to be worked out.”

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With Saturn, Campbell Automotive plans to open two dealerships by October, 1990. In the first year, Campbell said, he hopes to sell about 2,000 of GM’s new import-fighter.

Campbell Automotive is the third Orange County dealership--out of nine in the Southland--to be awarded a Saturn dealership.


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