Dealership leaps near top in sales


AUBURN – Lee Auto Malls is now the second biggest seller of new vehicles in the state, jumping from fifth place in a year.

The dealer sold 3,260 new cars, trucks and SUVs in 2005, according to a survey compiled by Albin, Randall & Bennett of Portland, using cross-sell reports. Lee now trumps more than a dozen of the state’s largest automobile dealers.

Lee is second only to Maine Mall Motors in South Portland, which sold 3,347 new vehicles in 2005.

The count includes fleet vehicles, which are sold to businesses.

With four dealerships selling 10 brands throughout the state, Chief Executive Officer John Isaacson credits Lee’s diversity for the surge in new vehicle sales. He said new salespeople, a full-time sales trainer and a full-time worker to manage the Lee Web site also helped. Lee also started spending more on Internet advertising in 2005.

“We’re obviously very pleased,” Isaacson said. “It tells us we’re doing something right.”

Lee was also the top seller of used cars in Maine in 2005. It was the second biggest seller in 2004.

Lee has new or used car dealerships in Auburn, Augusta, Norway, Saco, Topsham, Windham and Westbrook.