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GRS seeks more partners to follow Nissan success

Greenhous Remarketing Services expects to buyback 20,000 vehicles this year, on the back of the Nissan deal, with non-Vauxhalls accounting for about 25% of volume. Its success has encouraged GRS to seek four more manufacturer partners.

The Greenhous Group, based at Shrewsbury, is one of the UK's biggest Vauxhall retailers and GRS has now started the quest for deals with other carmakers, and has increased investment in the division.

Sales and marketing director Mike Pilkington said Nissan “wanted to create a market to non-Nissan dealerships - we can do this for them and other manufacturers”.

The GRS business has been developed through taking risks on volume buybacks, which has created its own motivation for success.

“If our rivals - like auction houses - fail to sell a car it hurts them but it isn't a threat to the business,” said Mr Pilkington. “We can't afford to fail because we own the cars.”

In 1998 GRS bought back 7,500 vehicles, almost all Vauxhalls, while last year, the group topped 16,000 buybacks, of which 2,000 were other makes.

Managing director Kerry Finnon said GRS originally secured the remarketing business “because we were willing to take the risk - no other Vauxhall dealer would accept it”. By 2004, GRS plans to have four new partners, taking volume to 40,000 vehicles.

GRS this month launched a website - www.greenhousremarketing.com - giving trade buyers instant access to the latest stock. GRS is seeking to reduce dependency on larger dealer groups and used car superstores, preferring to improve relationships with individual franchised dealers.

The company has allocated £500,000 for marketing over the next year as it bids to win new business and encourage existing buyers to use its services more frequently.

“Our strategy is about increasing our customer base and retention of existing customers - it's a limited market,” said Mr Pilkington.

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