Paul Atkinson, who has led the U.S. operations of Purdy Motor Group since 2012, is retiring effective March 1, according to the company. Atkinson will remain as an adviser and board member of the group's U.S. operation.

Costa Rica-based Purdy Motor Group merged with Atkinson Toyota Scion and Atkinson Toyota Madisonville in December 2012. In 2015, a third dealership opened in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

Atkinson bought his first Toyota dealership in 1999 in Bryan and started one from scratch in Madisonville in 2007. In October, the company broke ground on a $10 million building in Huntsville. The 11-acre site is off Interstate 45 North on the service road. The facility includes 14,000 square feet for a service shop with 15 bays and two lounges -- one with a TV and the other designated as a "quiet" room.

The Madisonville dealership will relocate to the Huntsville location.

According to an email from Javier Quiros, president of the Purdy Motor Group, Atkinson will be retiring to spend time with family.

"We will always be grateful to him for his guidance, support, leadership, and [especially] friendship, fundamental during our first steps and initial expansion in the USA," Quiros said of Atkinson in the email.

Laura Ryan will replace Atkinson as the CEO of the Purdy Motor Group's U.S. operations. Purdy Motor Group is the fourth-oldest Toyota distributor in the world and one of the largest corporations in Costa Rica, officials said.

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