Penske, headed by race-car legend Roger Penske, appears to be on the right track as a diversified transportation firm. Penske is a partner with GE Equipment Management in Penske Truck Leasing, a commercial truck rental operation with more than 200,000 vehicles at some 1,000 locations. Penske owns about a third of publicly traded auto dealer Penske Automotive Group (formerly United Auto Group), which runs 300-plus franchised dealerships in some 20 states, Germany, Puerto Rico, and the UK. Through Penske Motor it sells cars in California. Truck-Lite makes safety lights for boats, buses, cars, commercial trucks, construction equipment, and recreational vehicles. Roger Penske is the majority owner of the company.
The billionaire auto mogul made headlines with the proposed rescue of General Motors' Saturn brand by Penske Automotive Group (PAG). However, Penske backed out of the deal in 2009 after an agreement to get cars from France's Renault fell through. While turmoil in the US auto industry and the deep recession have curtailed the demand for leased trucks and hurt auto sales at PAG, which as the nation's second-largest dealership group is a key asset of Penske Corp., the diversified transportation services company is cutting costs and putting acquisitions on hold while it waits out the economic downturn.
Penske Automotive Group looks to bolster its revenues generated internationally, announcing in 2011 that it will acquire a 50% stake in Alliance Motor Tyumen, a Russian car dealership that is owned by Mitsui & Co. (Japan-based Mitsui is PAG's second-largest shareholder.) The company souped up its Penske Truck Leasing unit in early 2010 with the purchase of Dallas-based Bright Truck Leasing & Bright Distribution. The deal boosted its full-service truck leasing, truck rental, maintenance, and logistics operations; it also added about 20 Texas locations that serve some 2,400 customers. Penske's fleet also grew by about 3,400 tractors, trucks, and trailers. Other Penske interests include Michigan-based DAVCO, a leader in Class 8 heavy duty diesel powered truck fuel-heater/water separators and filter systems.
Chairman Penske is also a managing member of Transportation Resource Partners, an organization that invests in transportation-related industries, including component maker Autocam (acquired in 2004).
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