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Group 1 Automotive Assessing Hail Damage To New Orleans Dealerships

car with hail (select to view enlarged photo)

HOUSTON--Feb. 28, 2013:   Group 1 Automotive, Inc. , an international, Fortune 500 automotive retailer, today announced it is assessing damage at four of its New Orleans dealerships in the aftermath of a Feb. 24 hail storm.

Preliminary assessments indicate there is damage to some of the facilities and most of the new and used vehicle inventory located at the four stores. The company is insured with large deductibles and currently estimates it will incur pretax charges related to the deductibles in the range of $1.1 million to $1.4 million, or approximately $0.03 per diluted common share, in the first quarter.

The affected dealerships are open for business with full capacity in the parts, service and collision areas, but with limited sales operations.

Group 1's four New Orleans dealerships are composed of five franchises, including Ford, Buick, GMC, Toyota and Hyundai. The four dealerships represented 2.5 percent of Group 1's total new vehicle unit sales in 2012. While the company is working with its manufacturer partners to replace the damaged inventory it expects sales to be adversely impacted until inventories are fully replenished by late May.

About Group 1 Automotive, Inc.

Group 1 owns and operates 142 automotive dealerships, 182 franchises, and 36 collision centers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil that offer 35 brands of automobiles. Through its dealerships, the company sells new and used cars and light trucks; arranges related vehicle financing, service and insurance contracts; provides automotive maintenance and repair services; and sells vehicle parts.

Group 1 Automotive can be reached on the Internet at Group 1 Auto .