Updated March 4, 2016 - 2:16 pm

Veteran automotive executive John Barr, a resident of Las Vegas since 1993, has been named general manager of Findlay Toyota.

The former general sales manager of the dealership and an 18-year employee with Findlay Toyota, the 56-year-old Barr succeeds Rich Abajian, who passed away of natural causes Feb. 9 at age 62.

A native of Portsmouth in Hampshire, England, Barr is a former rock musician and soccer star who entered the car business in 1990 in Southern California.

“I am very honored to be given this opportunity,” Barr said. “Naturally, I wish it had been under different circumstances because Rich was not only my boss but also my best friend. I promise that Findlay Toyota will continue to operate and grow in the manner that Rich and the Findlay Management Group would only be proud of.”

“Certainly, we’re sad with the circumstances of having to name a new general manager,” said Findlay Automotive Group Chief Financial Officer Tyler Corder. “Rich was a huge part of Findlay Automotive and we could never really replace him. However, John Barr has been Rich’s right-hand man for the last 18 years. We have tremendous confidence in his abilities and we think that he will do an outstanding job.”

Situated at 7733 Eastgate Road in the Valley Automall, Findlay Toyota is part of Findlay Automotive Group founded by the late Pete Findlay more than 50 years ago.

Operations are now headed by Findlay’s son, Cliff, who leads dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Arizona and Idaho. Further information can be found by calling the dealership at 702-566-2000 or by visiting

Marsh gets Chrysler, Jeep franchises back

In May of 2009, the economy was crashing and 789 Chrysler Corp. dealers lost their stores as the automotive giant scaled back.

Among the Southern Nevada dealers to be informed by a registered letter was Jim Marsh, whose dealership at 8555 W. Centennial Center Parkway would become Jim Marsh Kia.

However, Marsh reached a milestone recently when it was announced that he was one of only four Chrysler Corp. dealerships nationwide that would be getting their franchises back. Ever the survivor in the car business, Marsh has already announced plans for the construction of a 30,000-square-foot Jim Marsh Chrysler Jeep dealership on 17 acres on West Centennial Center Parkway just west of the Kia store.

The final decision to award Marsh the dealership came after six years of litigation that ended up being submitted all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which confirmed a previous decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Marsh said the new dealership would employ 35 to 40 people and should be operational by June 1.

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