3 O.C. Auto Sellers in the Top 100 Nationally

John O'Dell covers major Orange County corporations and manufacturing for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5831 and at john.odell@latimes.com

MacPherson is one of three dealership groups based in Orange County that made this year's list of the 100 largest "megadealers" (by dollar volume) in the country.

The annual list is published by Ward's Dealer Business magazine, the car retailing industry's chief trade journal, and is based on financial information supplied by the dealerships.

Topping the "OC 3" list is Irvine-based Tuttle-Click Automotive Group, with 1997 retail revenue of $621.3 million. Of that, $340.2 million came from sales of 15,093 new cars and trucks and $160.2 million came from sales of 17,877 used vehicles. Financing, insurance, service and repairs, parts and accessories and body shop income accounted for the rest. Tuttle-Click, which was the 25th largest dealer chain nationally on the Ward's list, operates nine dealerships in Orange County and Arizona.

In second place in Orange County--46th overall--was David Wilson Automotive Group, based in Orange. The Wilson Group, which owns Toyota of Orange and five other dealerships, reported total retail income of $441.6 million, including $264.7 million from the sale of 10,743 new vehicles, $113.1 million from the sale of 11,274 used cars and trucks and $6.5 million from fleet sales of 317 vehicles.

MacPherson, with $276 million, was third on the county list and 84th nationally. The company's retail revenue included $175.4 million from the sale of 7,405 new vehicles, $51.6 million from the sale of 3,420 used vehicles and $6.2 million from fleet sales of 267 cars and trucks.

Irvine-based Webb Automotive Group, a perennial top-100 finisher, was absent this year because the seven-dealership chain has been purchased by the nation's No. 1 megadealer, Republic Industries Inc.

Ward's, which puts Republic's total 1997 revenue from automobile operations at $5.5 billion, opted not to include individual numbers for any groups now owned by the Florida-based giant.

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