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Friday, 07 February 2020 17:28

LaFontaine Automotive Group Installs Largest Solar Array For a Dealership in the Midwest

LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Fenton announced today it has completed the installation of the largest array of solar panels on any dealership in the Midwest as part of an ongoing strategy to increase its green initiatives.

The 428 panels – installed through a partnership with POWERHOME – produces nearly 180,000 kWh annually and is expected to reduce the dealership's electric need by 60 percent in its first year.

"My mom, Maureen LaFontaine, was a true pioneer in terms of our dealerships focusing on green initiatives," said Ryan LaFontaine, chief operating officer, LaFontaine Automotive Group. "Being better stewards of the environment makes great business sense. Our sustainability efforts have had a positive impact on our bottom line, our workplace culture and our customers."

The nearly 38,000 square-foot LaFontaine CDJR Fenton dealership was the second CDJR dealership in the nation and the first in Michigan to incorporate Fiat Chrysler America's new design and technology. The LaFontaine family invested heavily on the sustainability aspects of the dealership, building on best practices learned in the construction of their existing LEED-certified dealerships. The best green practices used during the build of the LaFontaine CDJR Fenton dealership include:

⦁ Additional roof insulation equal to R-38
⦁ White solar reflective roof
⦁ All LED lighting, interior and exterior, with advanced control systems
⦁ High recycled content in 90% of building materials
⦁ Waste stream management
⦁ High-efficiency HVAC system and controls, occupancy controls and timers with Wi-Fi system controls and monitoring
⦁ Low flow and measured fixtures for water efficiency
⦁ Sourced materials regionally when possible

"We applaud the green investments undertaken by the LaFontaine family," said FCA U.S. Head of Sales Reid Bigland. "Their efforts are an example for the entire automotive industry as we all work to improve and protect our environment."

A recent McKinsey paper stated dealers need drastic business-model changes in the approaching age of autonomous, electric and shared vehicles. These changes include reducing operating costs through improved efficiency.

"The fact that LaFontaine will own a majority of their power at their Fenton location says a lot about how much they believe in the value of solar," said Jayson Waller, CEO of POWERHOME. "LaFontaine already is a leader in the U.S. auto industry, and adding renewable energy will further position the dealership as environmentally conscious."

About LaFontaine Automotive Group
Founded in 1980 by Michael Sr. and Maureen LaFontaine, the award-winning and nationally-recognized LaFontaine Automotive Group includes 36 retail franchises, seven collision centers and 17 Michigan retail locations. The group employs nearly 1,400 individuals. It's the mission of the LaFontaine Family to personalize the automotive experience by building lifelong relationships that connect families and strengthen the community. The LaFontaine commitment to customers, staff, and local communities is demonstrated by active participation and contributions to numerous non-profit organizations, educational institutions and charities throughout southeast Michigan. The combination of both the mission and core values provides the basic foundation of our promise … to treat every customer like they are members of our family. From sales, to service to parts, LaFontaine Automotive Group is able to meet any customer's specific needs. LaFontaine represents the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Fiat, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, KIA, RAM, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen. The LaFontaine Family Deal; it's not just what you get, it's how you feel. Visit for additional details.

POWERHOME is an energy efficiency company that provides high-quality American-made solar panels as part of a complete energy-savings package for residential customers. The company launched in 2015 in Mooresville, N.C., and today has nearly 800 employees, including a commercial division. Operating in nine states, it is ranked No. 100 on the 2019 Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America – the second time in three years that the company has made the top 100 of this prestigious list. For more information, visit

About FCA
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people around the globe. For more details regarding FCA, please visit

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