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West-Herr to open Honda dealership

West-Herr Automotive Group will become the fourth Honda dealership in the Buffalo Niagara region when it finishes building a new store in the Lockport area.

West-Herr Honda is scheduled to open in September at 6120 S. Transit Road in the Town of Pendleton, said Annette Smith, a West-Herr representative. The dealership will employ 30 to 40 people.

The company will build a 23,000-square-foot facility at the site, which is south of Robinson Road. It will become West-Herr's 16th location, and its only one in Niagara County.

Western New York has three other Honda dealers: Ray Laks Honda in West Seneca, Don Davis Honda in Amherst, and Lia Honda in Clarence. Buffalo Niagara Honda dealers in February reported selling 223 new vehicles, down from 257 a year earlier, according to the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association. Through the first two months of the year, Honda sales were down 10 percent from the same period in 2006.

Honda's local expansion comes at a time when some other automakers, such Ford and General Motors, are trimming their number of dealer locations. Automotive News last year reported that Honda ranked third highest in new-vehicle sales per dealership, behind only Toyota and Lexus.

West-Herr Automotive Group ranked No. 38 on Automotive News' recently published list of the nation's largest dealership groups, based on its 16,022 new retail vehicles sold.

e-mail: mglynn@buffnews.com

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