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Joe Caso, longtime owner of Frontier Toyota in Valencia, Calif., sold his dealership to first-time owner Aman Abraham late last year.

Abraham’s newly formed Addis Automotive Group in Los Angeles purchased the store Nov. 11. He is maintaining the Frontier Toyota name for the southern California store. Caso had owned the dealership since 1988.

Abraham told Automotive News that after emigrating from Ethiopia at age 12, he entered the automotive retail industry in college to pay for school. Since the late 1990s, he has worked in various areas of the field, most recently for Lithia Motors as general manager of Toyota of Downtown LA

He said he had been looking to purchase a dealership for some time, but waited for the opportunity to buy a Toyota store, passing up other deals in pursuit of his goal.

“I have honestly not seen a brand that is such a true partner in so many ways, including the level of support and commitment to your success,” Abraham said. “If I am going to put it all on the line, I certainly would want to do it with a solid partner.”

Several staff members have been with Frontier for many years and Abraham said that anyone interested in staying on was given that opportunity.

Eventually, Abraham said, he would like to add more dealerships. But he is planning to wait a few years while he settles in at Frontier before looking elsewhere, he said.

Abraham credited Damon Lester, former president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, along with support from several people in a Toyota Motor North America regional team and Toyota’s finance division, in helping him get the deal done.

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