AutoNation Inc., the nation’s largest dealership group, will return $77 million in loans it received through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program for 83 stores across the country, while Penske Automotive Group also will return loans it received, the companies told Automotive News on Friday.
The Washington Post was first to report Friday that AutoNation would return the loans issued through the Paycheck Protection Program. The Post said AutoNation had received nearly $95 million in loans, citing internal documents and company employees.
AutoNation Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon told Automotive News that the loan amount figure cited by the Post was incorrect and that the correct amount was $77 million. He said AutoNation held a board meeting at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, shortly after new guidelines from the Small Business Administration were issued, and decided to cancel all of the retailer’s loan applications and return all funds by May 7.
Penske Automotive Group,…