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The Car Group to open used car supermarket in ex-Vauxhall Ellesmere Port property

The Car Group has doubled its footprint with the acquisition of a former Vauxhall Motors premises in Ellesmere Port.

The Bury-based used car supermarket business turned to property consultancy Vail Williams with help to make the freehold acquisition of Hooton House, near Ellesmere Port, eight years after the two businesses teamed-up for the acquisition of Bury’s former bus depot.

Hooton House is located close to junctions six and seven of the M53 Wirral motorway and five miles from the M56/M53 interchange.

A deal was agreed with Vauxhall owner Stellantis for the 51,355 square foot former administrative facility and an additional 3.5-acre strip of land as part of the latest property deal.

Planning permission has been acquired from Cheshire West and Chester Council to convert the premises to a car supermarket with an additional 100,000 sq-ft of maintenance bays.

The Car Group director Raza Habib said: “We are looking to expand to bring our unique style of showroom and refreshing one-stop shop buying experience to new areas as demand for quality used cars has never been higher.

“We are indebted to Carole, Vail Williams and the wider team for not only sourcing and securing this superbly located and visible premises in Cheshire, but also working hard in challenging circumstances to get it over the line.

“It is anticipated construction work will begin shortly. These are exciting times for The Car Group as we seek further strategic growth.”

The Car Group is one of a number of used car retail operations targeting growth on the back of a period which has seen much of the sector achieve record margins.

AM100 PLCs Pendragon and Inchcape are both embarking on growth from their standalone used car retail divisions.

Elsewhere, a trio of directors who previously helped drive Imperial Cars to rapid growth recently expanded their Carsa used car dealer group with the opening of a new showroom in Bradford.

The Car Group said its latest addition could create around 140 jobs.

Carole Taylor, West Midlands regional managing partner at Vail Williams, said: “We first met The Car Group when we disposed of a former bus depot in Bury, Greater Manchester to them which they converted in to their first car supermarket.

“The company then instructed us to search for sites or premises – typically eight to 10 acres in the north west or north east – which could be converted in to further car supermarkets.

“Following extensive searches we identified Hooton House, which was purchased subject to planning and we subsequently worked with a full design team and successfully obtained planning consent.”

Vauxhall opened its Ellesmere Port plant in 1962.

Stellantis has committed to investing £100 million to transform part of the site to produce solely battery-electric commercial vehicles.

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