It's one of the most prominent names in business in the Brazos Valley, and while the name Atkinson Toyota won't be changing, the ownership will.
Tuesday, current owner Paul Atkinson announced a new partnership with Costa Rica-based Purdy Motor Group. Atkinson will remain the man in charge of Toyota locations in Bryan and Madisonville, but Purdy takes over the ownership.
Terms of the deal, which will be finalized in the next few days, were not disclosed. However, both sides made it clear that operations and personnel would not change at Atkinson.
According to Purdy, they are the top auto sales and service company in their home country, and expanded into Mexico in 2005. It is their first business move into the United States.
The two sides say they began talking in August and quickly realized that the move could help the Atkinson brand expand.
Purdy leadership said they had eyed a move to the U.S. for a few years, but did not want to take on a struggling dealership and build it up. Instead, they wanted an industry leader to grow.
Atkinson said his decision to sell was based simply on the opportunity to grow the brand. He will head up operations in the United States, which means Bryan, Madisonville, and future expansions when and if they happen.
Atkinson has been an owner of the dealership that bears his name for 14 years.
Purdy CEO Jesus Castro says he will spend considerable time in the U.S. helping oversee operations.
The following is a press release from Atkinson Toyota and Purdy Motor Group:
Effective December 2012, Brazos Valley Imports dba Atkinson Toyota Scion and Atkinson Toyota Madisonville will be acquired by Costa Rican based Purdy Motor Group (PMG) to become Purdy Motor Group Auto Sales Brazos Valley dba Atkinson Toyota Scion and Atkinson Toyota Madisonville.
According to Jesus Castro, CEO of Purdy Motor Group, the Bryan and Madisonville operations will remain completely intact with current management and staff and any ideas of employee replacements or dismissals have been discarded, reinforcing this by keeping the exact same company name.
“We believe that local employees are paramount to the success of any business. Therefore, Paul Atkinson, Dealer Principal and General Manager, will continue to lead the U.S. operations. We want to make it clear that there will be no layoffs,” said Castro, who will consistently travel to the U.S. to keep abreast of all international operations.
“After almost 14 years of operations in the Brazos Valley, we felt that this was an opportunity too great to pass up, for all involved, especially our employees and associates. The Brazos Valley has been very good to us and in return, with the combined efforts of our two companies, we want to continue to be very good to the Brazos Valley and to aggressively grow and develop our North American operations,” said Paul Atkinson.
Purdy Motor Group, the leading automotive sales and service company in Costa Rica has a strategic vision of internationalization of the company focused on continuous growth, thus moving into the second largest automotive market in the world. Since 2005, PMG has been operating in Mexico, and plans to expand there by the end of 2013. This shows that the company has a firm grasp of the management and handling needed for international operations. To continue that expansion, Purdy Motor Group had been actively looking to expand its operations with Toyota to the United States for the past two years, but it wasn’t until this year that they found Atkinson Toyota.
"We feel very comfortable with this business arrangement, not only from a professional perspective, but also because Atkinson Toyota’s business philosophy and core values correspond to what we do every day at Purdy Motor Group; we are united by our loyalty to the best car brand in the world, and also by our commitment to excellence. At this moment, the deal remains subject to customary terms and conditions, including manufacturer approval" concluded Castro.
Established in 1957, Purdy Motor Group, a private company, is the fourth oldest Toyota distributor in the world and one of the largest corporations in Costa Rica. Purdy Motor Group has had a relationship with Toyota Motor Company for 57 years and has combined sales for the group exceeding $401 million dollars and is the leading car sales and service company in Costa Rica.
Social responsibility has been part of Purdy Motor Group’s way of doing business since its inception. Its mission is intended to lead the company in achieving the following objectives: minimize environmental impact and be a key contributor in the communities where it operates. Education has been the main focus of PMG through the strong support of two local foundations; one that brings the “One Laptop per Child Program” into elementary schools and the other to help children keep studying through sixth grade. With the 2012 inception of the Atkinson It Pays to Stay Program, a program rewarding high school seniors, another parallel between the two companies is highlighted.
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