Ridgeway Group to expand with first BMW and Mini sites

Ridgeway Group to expand with first BMW and Mini sites

07/02/2012 in News, All News, Dealer News

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Ridgeway Group to expand with first BMW and Mini sites

Ridgeway Group has agreed, subject to contract, to purchase BMW and Mini dealerships located in Bournemouth, Salisbury and Odiham from Wood Group for an undisclosed sum.

It will be Ridgeway’s first dealerships with the BMW and Mini brand. The deal is expected to complete before the end of next month.

Wood Group will keeps its sites in Chichester and Waterlooville, near Hampshire.

The acquisition is expected to add £100 million to Ridgeway's group turnover, which would take it to around the £450m turnover mark. This could take Ridgeway into the top 20 in the AM100.

All employees at the Wood BMW and Mini sites will transfer to Ridgeway Group and consultation has started with the workforce.

The Wood name has been retained at the purchased sites.

Ridgeway financial stats to 2010 (Source: AMi)


David Newman, chairman of Ridgeway Group said: “This acquisition is a perfect strategic fit for us in terms of the brand strength and customer orientation of these businesses, and the locations adjoin our existing businesses.”

David Burton, Wood BMW managing director, said he was proud to have worked with the BMW and Mini brand for 30 years and was confident the business would continue to be successful under new ownership.

Tim Abbott, BMW Group UK managing director, said Ridgeway would introduce “fresh ideas” about the delivery of customer service.

The Ridgeway Group passenger car brand portfolio includes Audi, Mercedes-Benz (and AMG), Volkswagen, Skoda and smart as well as Mercedes-Benz, Fuso Canter and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Ridgeway also operate a Chrysler Group service centre, two trade part specialist outlets, two used car centres and two paint & body repair centres.

The Ridgeway Group are on the shortlist for AM Awards 2012 “Best Retail Group (more than 10 sites)”.

Ridgeway (yellow) and Woods' (black) dealership locations (Source: AMi)


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Ridgeway Group

Starting out with a Volkswagen and Audi showroom in Newbury and a Volkswagen dealership in Wantage in 1997, a further brand was added to the portfolio in 1999 when Jewson Skoda in Oxford was purchased.

This was followed two years later with the addition of Volkswagen retailer Ridgeway Reading in 2001.

In 2004 the group gained preferred partner status from Volkswagen and Audi as well as opening a new vehicle preparation centre near Newbury.

In 2005, a second Audi Centre was acquired by the Ridgeway Group in Oxford and in March 2006, the company opened a new bodyshop operation.

In December 2006, Ridgeway Group bought the Pentagon Group, which added the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands as well as the cities of Chichester, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester.

The Pentagon Group also represents Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep in Portsmouth, Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles (truck and van) and Fuso Canter franchises in Poole, Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and Andover.

In 2007 Ridgeway Used Car Centres in Totton, Southampton and Portsmouth were opened.

At the turn of January 2010 the Ridgeway Group acquired two ex-Motorworld Volkswagen passenger car retailers in Oxford based at Oxford Motor Park, Kidlington and Iffley Road, Oxford [inc. a bodyshop and accident repair centre] bringing the group's Volkswagen site representation to five.

In November 2010 it opened two vehicle rental centres.

The first out of the Ridgeway Group Preparation Centre at Greenham, Berkshire [covering Newbury and Oxford] and the other at Mercedes-Benz of Southampton that offers low emission vehicles for rent featuring the latest in CO2 and low carbon emission technology.

Turnover in 2010 was £308 million on 14,000 new car sales and 1,264 LCV. The company is headed up by chairman, David Newman, chief executive officer John O’Hanlon and Jon Head, group operations director and employs over 750 staff across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset.

In the first quarter of 2012 Ridgeway announced it had bought BMW and Mini dealerships in Bournemouth, Salisbury and Odiham from Wood Group, increasing its workforce to more than 1,000. The purchase was seen as a fit in terms of brand and location. The Wood name has been retained.

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Mini UK

Mini had its biggest ever market share in 2010 with a record 2.16% in the UK and the company put that growth down to new model launches and derivatives which they say keep driving the momentum forward.

The iconic brand will have a six-model range by Q1 2012 with the Hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster.

Future development will include a UK-sourced three-cylinder mode while electric vehicle trials have proven a headline grabbing success.

Despite all this development, the power and popularity of the brand doesn't seem to have been diluted, with a recent index of internet search data, showing Mini was climbing through the charts as one of the most searched for brands in the UK.

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BMW is big enough to be bold in its decision-making, which was evident in 2012 with its very successful support for the London Olympics, where it was the official vehicle provider.

The latest example is the launch of the BMW i-range, a new electric vehicle brand, which is supported by a major marketing campaign and substantial investment in infrastructure.

BMW isn't first to market with its diminutive i3, but it is the first to put a BMW badge on an electric car and that could make all the difference when it comes to sales.

Even so, the i-series is likely to be a sideshow compared to the intense battle for volume sales with rival German brands.

Overall sales have broken through 100,000 units in 2013, driven by an ever-lengthening model range, which will expand further next year with the arrival of the 2-Series and 4-Series, which will arrive in the UK in time for the March 2014 plate-change.

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