Arnold Clark Automobiles is Europe’s largest privately owned car dealer, selling in excess of 200,000 vehicles per year and generating an annual turnover of over £1.5 billion. Its founder, Sir Arnold Clark, is still at the helm of the company today as chairman and chief executive.
A 32% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profits in 2010 hasn’t dented the drive to grow through acquisition, an example of this being the recent opening of a Vauxhall dealership in Hanley, Staffordshire, purchased from Greenhous Group.
Group franchise representation was brought to 20 with the addition of Skoda in Inverness in 2010.
The Skoda franchise came with the purchase of the entire share capital of Delmore Cars Limited in November 2010 and the number of Skoda sites was then doubled after opening the new Skoda showroom in the Seafield area of Edinburgh in December.
2010 also saw the completion of the redevelopment work of the dealership in Ashton-in-Makerfield, adding a new Fiat sales and service operation to the existing Motorstore; the group acquired a Citroen and Hyundai dealership in Stirling, taking the number of franchises represented in the city to eight; work was completed on a purpose-built commercial vehicle centre in Newcastle upon Tyne and the Accrington Motorstore was closed as a retail sales outlet; a new Renault showroom was opened in Edinburgh; the loss-making Manchester and Stockport Honda leasehold dealerships were relinquished and resulted in the conversion of the Altrincham Honda dealership to represent the Kia franchise; a new Hyundai showroom opened in Dundee and Dundee Nissan was relocated to a new purpose-built facility in the city; an existing site in Liverpool was converted to accommodate the Kia franchise and a Fiat outlet was added to the dealership in Salford, Manchester.
Showrooms including the Motorstores in Liverpool and Sighthill, Edinburgh were redeveloped.
Additionally, the centres at Inverness Peugeot, Elgin Fiat, Workington Ford and the Peugeot, Citroen and Ford site in Dumfries all underwent major refurbishments.
Landmarks in its history include the opening of a £10 million custom built conference and training centre, GTG Training, opened in Glasgow in 2007 and caters for every aspect in automotive training whilst the IT and business skills division provides a broad range of business skill training courses and a conference area. Each year the group takes on many apprentices.
Arnold Clark opened its largest and most ambitious new-build project in October 2008.
The largest Arnold Clark Motorstore, located at junction 14 of the M6, cost £12 million, and accommodates 1,000 vehicles and employs over 200 new members of staff.
Work started in 2011 on a complex to house the group’s Volvo and Skoda franchises in Inverness.
The single storey structure is due for completion towards the end of 2011 when sales and administration staff transfer from the existing Volvo site at the east end of Harbour Road and from the current Skoda showroom on the Carse Industrial Estate.
The existing Skoda premises will become a bodyshop centre for the group’s Inverness franchises –Volvo, Skoda, Peugeot and Hyundai.
All servicing for Volvo and Skoda cars will be handled by the recently modernised Arnold Clark Peugeot site close to the new complex where separate Skoda and Volvo servicing areas are being established.
The existing Volvo showroom is to become a new Hyundai franchise which will move from its current location in the Arnold Clark Motorpoint centre on the other side of Harbour Road.
Its 2012 results showed an increase in turnover of 10.3% to £2.48 billion (2011: £2.25m). Fleet sales increased by 11.5%, due to "significant contracts" won in the year.
Pre-tax profits rose from £51.7 million in 2011 to £60.5m. New and used vehicle sales increased by 10.3% and 4.6% respectively.
New car sales were 79,979 (2011: 72,538) and used 122,398 (116,994), although on like-for-like it was a