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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Today, Mark McLarty acquired Bale Honda in Little Rock. The dealership was previously owned by John H. "Johnny" Bale and John Sahene.

"I am pleased to invest in Arkansas and such an outstanding business in my hometown and my home state. Bale Honda has been a market leader for many decades, and I look forward to building on that strong foundation," McLarty, a Little Rock native, said. "I believe there is plenty of room for growth in the future. Honda is a world-class brand with outstanding products."

Bale Honda is McLarty's first acquisition in Arkansas since he led the merger of North Point Automotive, a Little Rock-based dealer group, with Asbury Automotive Group in 1999. Since then, McLarty founded and built leading automotive businesses in Brazil, China, and Mexico where he has lived and worked for the last 15 years. The McLarty family has been in the automobile dealership business since 1921.

The dealership will operate as Landers - McLarty Honda. The acquisition has been approved by American Honda Motor Co., Inc. The remaining terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Steve Landers Jr., a member of the Landers family, will oversee day-to-day operations. "Steve brings tremendous experience and knowledge that will benefit tremendously the employees and customers of Landers – McLarty Honda," said McLarty. The Landers family has operated dealerships in the state since 1971.

"My experience has taught me that success at the dealership level is driven by a talented team that can best serve the evolving needs of the customer. That will be a hallmark of our dealership and I am excited by this opportunity," Steve Landers Jr. said.

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