Halliwell Jones Group on major expansion drive

Halliwell Jones Group on major expansion drive

03/05/2012 in News, All News, Dealer News

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Halliwell Jones Group on major expansion drive

Halliwell Jones Group is looking to expand following success in securing £7.6 million from The Co-operative Bank.

The group, which has five car dealerships in the North West of England and Wales, is using the loan from the Manchester corporate banking centre of The Co-operative Bank towards ambitious £9.2m plans to expand and improve its dealerships in Chester, Warrington and Southport.

This month marked the opening of the Halliwell Jones’ newest Mini dealership at its BMW site in Southport, and work is already underway to double the size of its BMW Mini dealership in Warrington, with an improved layout and additional customer parking.

A £5.5m portion of the loan is being used to aid the development of a new service centre and bodyshop at the group’s BMW dealership in Chester.

The financial injection is also expected to increase jobs at the Southport, Warrington and Chester dealerships by about 10% over the next three years.

Halliwell Jones Group is an independent car retailer with dealerships located in Southport and The Wirral in Merseyside, Chester and Warrington in Cheshire, and Llandudno in Wales.

The company has banked with The Co-operative Bank since 2004 and acquired funding in 2007 to acquire its BMW dealership in Llandudno.
The expansion is part of the Group’s ongoing expansion and growth strategy plans.

Halliwell Jones Group finance director Glyn Howes, said: “The continued success of the group relies not only on our excellent relationship with BMW/Mini and our highly talented staff who work hard to provide the very best customer experience, but also on the funding support of our bank, for which we are extremely grateful.

“This is an exciting time for the group, with the expansion at Chester, Warrington and Southport, representing our commitment to further enhancing our portfolio, creating more jobs and working to further increase customer satisfaction – above and beyond the excellent standard we already achieve.”

Work on the group’s Warrington and Chester dealerships is already underway with completion for both expected before the end of the year.

Steve Lomax, senior corporate manager at the Manchester Corporate Banking Centre of The Co-operative Bank, said: “Since opening its first dealership in Southport more than 25 years ago, Halliwell Jones Group has grown significantly. Initial first year turnover of £20m increased to a turnover last year in excess of £186m, with staff levels at inception of 20 now at 330.”

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Mini UK

Beside every BMW dealership lies a Mini showroom and although they’ve been busy selling more cars every year since 2009, market share since 2011 hasn’t kept pace.

This is likely to improve in 2015 with the introduction of the first five-door Mini hatchback, whose third generation was launched recently.

It will arrive in showrooms later this year, and while much of its appeal will lay in its driving dynamics, character and quality, it is a much more practical car than the three-door.

More rear legroom and boot space will ensure the Mini hatchback range can be put on the shopping lists of those who want a small car with five doors. The Mini’s huge range of customisation options and accessories should ensure it’s as much of a hit as the three-door model.

The larger Countryman and Paceman will also be revised later this year, which should help maintain their appeal.

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BMW’s share of the market has been in decline since 2012, but it is still one of the most successful brands, with almost 6% market share.

In 2013, it launched its i electric car sub-brand and is making the i3 and i8 available to purchase, initially through 47 dealers (business sales specialists) of its near 150-strong network, with the remainder able to carry out diagnostic and body repair work.

The i cars have renewed interest in plug-in vehicles and BMW will be seeking to buy back cars at the end of the initial lifecycle to avoid doubt over residual values.

It is also entering the MPV segment this year with the 2 Series Active Tourer, giving it a rival to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Ford C-Max, a niche as yet untouched by its big rival Audi.

Dealers rate the BMW franchise highly, while the new products are likely to bring new customers to the brand.

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How do dealers rate the value of the franchise?

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  • Identify the fastest growing dealers
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AMi is available on subscription. To find out more download our digital brochure or call Sara Donald on 01733 366474 or email sara.donald@bauermedia.co.uk.



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Comments (1)

delamere - 143 weeks ago


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