Two years ago Independent Dealer highlighted a lack of major independent dealers in some conurbations around the UK, and specifically highlighted Belfast, Edinburgh and Newcastle.
Guess what? Two years on, two of those significant open points have been closed. Motor Depot recently opened a branch in Newcastle at the city’s eight-acre Vroom motor park, while Imperial Car Supermarkets has added a site at Grangemouth, 25 miles west of Edinburgh, in a leased former Honda dealership.
Independents are continuing to take the fight to franchised dealer groups while car market volumes remain strong, but franchised dealers are not sitting back. Arnold Clark Automobiles has opened more Motorstore car supermarkets, at Wakefield and Wolverhampton, and Pendragon is expanding its network of Car Store used car outlets, with latest openings being Dartford, Ipswich and Reading.
For independent used car dealers, there remain opportunities to lease showrooms being abandoned by some franchised dealers as carmakers reduce their new car sales network and prepare for growth in online.