The eighth-largest single-line auto dealership in America got bigger Friday when Rick Warner Lincoln-Mercury-Merkur celebrated its grand opening in Provo.

Company and community dignitaries, including Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins, BYU Football Coach LaVell Edwards and Denver district officials of the Lincoln-Mercury-Merkur organization, were on hand at the celebration.Jenkins said, "You have done a terrific job here. It's an indication Rick Warner is in business and is here to stay and be profitable. We are happy to welcome Rick and his people again into our city."

The current dealership is being totally remodeled. The new building will feature an extended new-car showroom, upgraded parts and service facilities and a used-car lot.

The Lincoln-Mercury-Merkur dealership, located at 1150 North Fifth West, is the second Rick Warner dealership to come to Utah County this year. Rick Warner Enterprises also operates Rick Warner Chevrolet-Buick on University Parkway.

Jenkins attributed the Rick Warner success to Warner himself,saying, "The man in charge is a man who has his priorities in line. That is the reason he is successful. He knows who comes first. That flows from Rick to all the people who work with him."

Warner responded, "The way to build a business is to build trust, faith and confidence in the people we deal with. We take care of the customer. That's the way we operate here."

Don Kaegi, district sales manager for the Denver district, said, "We think we are coming out with products the people want that are of a better quality. We have also been able to upgrade our dealer quality. We are happy to be working with the Rick Warner organization."

In the July issue of Auto Age magazine, Rick Warner Ford was ranked eighth in the "Top 500 dealers" list with $110 million in revenue for 1987.

Mac Boyter is the general manager of the Lincoln-Mercury-Merkur dealership in Provo and heads a team of 23 employees.

Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce President Steve Densley presented Warner with the First Buck Award and a T-shirt bearing a half-Brigham Young University and half-University of Utah logo.

Warner Enterprises is a frequent sponsor of BYU sporting events, but Rick Warner is an alumnus of the U. of U. With the opening of the Utah County dealerships Warner said, "I now have both blue and red blood in my veins."

During the grand opening, Warner gave the checkered flag command and Jenkins, Edwards, Boyter and Kaegi drove off in four seperate vehicles in opposite directions to release a huge parachute full of helium balloons.