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Pendragon buys US Jaguar outlet

Pendragon, the UK's biggest motor dealer with a £2bn-plus turnover, is on the way to becoming a global retailer after announcing expansion in the US and Germany.

Chief executive Trevor Finn is further strengthening links with Ford Motor Company by acquiring a Jaguar dealership in California and building a new Jaguar/Land Rover retail site in Frankfurt. Ford has a 49% investment in the Pendragon outlets selling its cars.

Pendragon has bought the £45m-turnover Bauer Motors, of Santa Ana, the third largest US Jaguar dealership. Mr Finn said: “Other acquisitions in the US are likely to follow. It would be wrong to say Ford brokered the Bauer deal but the discussions involved both Jaguar and Ford's Premier Automotive Group.

“There will be no difficulty in running Bauer from the UK because we believe in devolving power, and the dealership has an established management.”

Pendragon has three Jaguar dealerships in Germany and Mr Finn said: “We are looking at a number of other Land Rover possibilities in Germany.”

Following the US deal, Pendragon has 25 Jaguar dealerships. In addition it has 16 Land Rover and 23 Volvo (both Ford PAG) plus 31 Ford outlets.

Mr Finn is chairman of the Jaguar dealer council and some members of the network have privately expressed concern about his closeness to Ford's Premier Automotive Group. “I am not aware of that, and having a council chairman who runs a large business can be an advantage to all members,” he said.

Pendragon, which wants to reduce its borrowings, has sold four bodyshop businesses to Perry Group's Nationwide Crash Repair Centres. This year Pendragon has raised £36.9m in disposals.

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