Lithia Motors Completes Acquisition of Bob Rice Ford/Chrysler

7 March 2000

Lithia Motors Completes Acquisition of Bob Rice Ford/Chrysler in Boise, Idaho Adding its Third Store in This High Potential Market LITHIA AUTOMOTIVE GROUP LOGO Lithia Automotive Group logo. Contact: Betty Whitney, 541-776-6591. (PRNewsFoto)[DM] MEDFORD, OR USA 09/09/1999    

    MEDFORD, Ore., March 7 Lithia Motors, Inc.
announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Bob Rice Ford/Chrysler
dealership in Boise, Idaho.  The store has estimated 1999 sales of $73 million
and began operation under Lithia's ownership as of February 29, 2000.
Lithia's net investment in the store totaled approximately $10.9 million and
was paid for in cash.
    (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990909/LITHIALOGO )
    Sidney B. DeBoer, Chairman and CEO of Lithia Motors, stated, "This store
is strategically located in a highly attractive market within our targeted
regions in the western and inter-mountain states.  Bob Rice Ford/Chrysler has
received numerous awards, including Time Dealer of the Year, multiple
distinguished achievement awards from Ford, multiple 5-Star certifications
from Chrysler, and the 'Integrity Counts' Award from the Better Business
Bureau.  This is an indication of the high quality of the personnel that
operate the store.  This acquisition represents our second acquisition and our
third store in the Boise market.  A recent study by University of Texas -- El
Paso on favorable business climates ranked Boise, Idaho first among 316 cities
in the nation."
    With this most recent acquisition, Lithia now operates 100 franchises in
California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho and sells
24 brands of new vehicles at 42 stores and over the internet through
"Lithia.com-America's Car & Truck Store."  Lithia also sells used vehicles;
arranges finance, warranty, and credit insurance contracts; and provides
vehicle parts, maintenance, and repair services at all of its locations.
Lithia retailed 52,485 new and used vehicles in 1999.  Lithia's current
annualized revenue run rate, including all completed acquisitions, is over
$1.5 billion.
    This press release includes forward looking statements, which management
believes are a benefit to shareholders.  These statements are necessarily
subject to risk and uncertainty and actual results could differ materially due
to certain risk factors, including without limitation economic conditions,
acquisition risk factors and others set forth from time to time in the
company's filings with the SEC.  Specific risks included in this press release
include business climate and revenue run rate.
    For additional information on Lithia Motors, contact:  Jeff DeBoer, Vice
President of Finance/Investor Relations 541-776-6868 or log-on to
http://www.lithia.com (E-mail: invest@lithia.com)



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