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Lithia teaming with online auto retailer Shift on used car sales

Oregon-based Lithia Motors Inc. said Sept. 13 that it entered into a strategic partnership with online auto retailer Shift Technologies Inc. that will see the companies collaborate on omnichannel used car sales.

Under the agreement, auto retailer Lithia and Shift will combine technology, a physical store network, data and inventory with an aim to increase their share of the more than 40 million used vehicles sold nationwide each year.

The tie-up will also help boost Shift's growth. "This collaboration gives us the resources we need to double down on our technology investments and scale more quickly and efficiently," Shift Co-CEO Toby Russell said in a statement.

In addition, Lithia will invest $54 million to lead Shift's series D fundraising and also become its largest shareholder. San Francisco-based Shift has raised more than $265 million in debt and equity since it was incorporated in 2013.