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Group 1 Automotive acquires Inchcape Ford dealerships

Group 1 Automotive has acquired Inchcape’s four Ford dealerships for an undisclosed sum.

The dealerships will trade under the "think Ford" brand name and are located in Farnborough, Guildford, Wokingham and Bracknell.

Five years ago Inchcape announced it was looking to reduce the amount of volume brands it represents to focus on premium, but until now it had retained the Ford franchise.

US-based Group 1 says the acquisition complements its existing BMW/MINI dealerships located in Farnborough and other adjacent market areas south and southwest of London.

The deal will add £117 million to Group 1’s turnover – taking it to £334m and 17 places up the AM100 table, overtaking Ridgeway.

Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1's president and chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to add Ford to our brand offerings in England with this acquisition of four dealerships in a growing area outside of London.

"We are also very pleased to expand our relationship with Ford Motor Company internationally."

Group 1 owns and operates 124 automotive dealerships, 160 franchises, and 32 collision centers in the United States and the United Kingdom that offer 31 brands of automobiles. It has also just completed an 18 dealership acquisition in Brazil.



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Group 1 Automotive

Group 1 Automotive was the second US-based dealer group to build a business in the UK.

Based in Houston, Texas, it bought £91.5m turnover Chandlers Garage in south-east England with BMW/Mini dealerships in Brighton, Worthing and Hailsham.

Overseeing the UK operation is Ian Twinley, chairman of John Grose Group, and the group's CEO is Chris Hayden, former boss of Ford Retail. He was appointed in May 2013.

The group holds the BMW and Mini franchises with 10 outlets in Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex.
2010 turnover was £206 million (2010: 139,468m) on total car sales of 11,255 and 232 LCVs.

The first US-based group to invest in a UK motor retail operation was United Auto Group, run by Roger Penske. It bought Sytner in 2002.

In the UK Group 1 trades as Barons Group and Chandlers Group.

In May 2012 it bought Hodgson Automotive comprising eight sites in NE London and Essex. It retained the Essex Audi trading name at its sites.

And in February 2013 Group 1 four Ford dealerships from Inchcape signalling its exit from the brand. It added £117m to Group 1 turnover.

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Group 1 Automotive Turnover

Profit before tax

Group 1 Automotive profit before tax
profit guide


Group 1 Automotive gearing
gearing guide

Inchcape Retail

Part of a global automotive group, Inchcape Retail is one of the UK’s largest groups holding franchises for Audi, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, Smart, Toyota and Volkswagen.

It’s stated vision is to be “the world’s most customer-centric automotive retail group” around its Inchcape Advantage programme and based on a scale retail business with these premium brand partners, together with a fleet leasing operation.

Strategy is based on five priorities: growing market share, growing aftersales, improving margin, controlling working capital and selective capital expenditure investment.

Inchcape is based in London and employs around 13,900 people. It has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1958.

Please note: Data for this business is limited to information provided voluntarily from time to time by the business on request, or is derived from data disclosed in the accounts of a larger entity of which this business is a part.

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Inchcape Retail Turnover

Profit before tax

Inchcape Retail profit before tax
profit guide


Inchcape Retail gearing
gearing guide

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