Meet the Billionaire Dealers' Club

Five billionaires with extensive auto dealership holdings are on the Forbes Magazine roster of the 400 wealthiest Americans. B.J. (Red) McCombs, 80, oversees an eight-dealership group of Ford, Lexus and Toyota stores headquartered in San Antonio, TX. Early in 2008 he bought $100 million worth of stock in China's Brilliance Automotive Holdings, whose prime activity is producing Brilliance cars, trucks

Five billionaires with extensive auto dealership holdings are on the Forbes Magazine roster of the 400 wealthiest Americans.

B.J. (Red) McCombs, 80, oversees an eight-dealership group of Ford, Lexus and Toyota stores headquartered in San Antonio, TX. Early in 2008 he bought $100 million worth of stock in China's Brilliance Automotive Holdings, whose prime activity is producing Brilliance cars, trucks and buses and BMW 3-Series and 5-Series cars in a joint venture. McCombs' net worth is put at $1.7 billion.

Roger Penske, 71, is chairman and CEO of Penske Automotive Group, a publicly-owned dealership network, and of Penske Corp., whose prime asset is the No. 1 volume dealer Longo Toyota in El Monte, CA.

Based in Birmingham, MI, Penske has seen his net worth tumble from $1.5 billion to $1.2 billion in 2007-2008. He controls more than 300 dealerships, including 75 with franchises for the Smart minicar, introduced in the U.S. this year.

The newest member in the auto-related group is Norman Braman, 76, who owns 16 dealerships in his headquarters town of Miami and in Palm Beach, FL, and Denver.

With a net worth of $1.7 billion, Braman also has an art collection worth an estimated $1 billion. Braman entered the auto business in 1972 by buying a Cadillac store in Tampa, FL.

Also on the Forbes' list is Thomas Friedkin, 73, who owns Toyota distributor Gulf States Toyota, based in Houston. His net worth is put at $2 billion, with annual sales of the distributorship exceeding $4 billion. Gulf States covers AK, LA, MS, OK and TX for Toyota and Lexus.

On the list again is H. Wayne Huizenga, 70, a major shareholder in AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest dealership chain, which he founded in 1996. His net worth is put at $2.2 billion. AutoNation has 224 dealerships.

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