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Boise’s Lyle Pearson Auto Group picks up new owners

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Idaho Business pres. by My 102.7

One of Boise’s oldest auto dealers will soon come under new ownership.

Lyle Pearson Auto Group agreed to sell its group of Boise dealerships to Gee Automotive Group out of Spokane, WA. Lyle Pearson, which sells luxury brands Acura, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, and Sprinter, leaves local ownership after more than 50 years.

The Gee purchase gives the regional auto dealer its first presence in the Boise market. In recent years it added stores in Portland, Gresham, the Seattle area, and N. Idaho.

“We’ve been admirers from afar of this group,” Gee Automotive Group CEO Ryan Gee told BoiseDev. “They are well regarded in the industry.  Being a northwest-based group, we’ve had our eyes on it, and the Boise market in general. We’re really excited about the Boise market as we’ve watched the economic growth.”

[2018: Edmark returns: Former GM dealer takes stake in nearby car lot]

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Lyle Pearson founded the dealership group that bears his name in December 1969, selling Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles in Downtown Boise. After relocating to the Boise Motor Village, the group grew to sell a total of seven high-end brands.

Pearson died in 2012, but the group remained in the family, operated by his son-in-law Jim Cross. Pearson was known for starring in a series of 2000s-era TV ads with the slogan “Lyle Rocks.”

Minimal change planned

Gee said that heritage attracted them to the Pearson group purchase.

“If you really look through the performance metrics of this business, they do things really really well. They’ve got great people here who take great care of the customers. It starts with the people on our team – we try to take care of them to ensure they take care of their customers,” he said.

Gee said customers to Lyle Pearson shouldn’t expect to see major changes – including the name, which will stay the same.

“Our strategy is really targeting great performing companies,” he said. “If it’s not broke why try to fix it? We implement minimal change. Our goal is 100% employee retention – and this is no different. There’s a tremendous amount of equity in the Lyle Pearson name. We intend to keep the name and all the people and let them do the great things.”

Gee said his company would look for other purchase opportunities in the Boise market if they arise. He said he expects the transaction to close tomorrow. He declined to disclose the terms.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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