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Polar Motor Group announces record first half results

Polar Motor Group, the joint venture between Ford and Lancaster, has reported record earnings for the first half of 2001.

First half profits rose to £4.23m, up from the £25,000 net profit for the same period last year. Turnover January-to-June 2001 has increased to £332m from £286m.

In the first six months Polar sold 16,491 new vehicles - an increase of 15% compared to the same period last year. Used cars sales increased by 5%.

Alun Jones, Polar's managing director, said: "These strong results demonstrate the progress being made towards achievement of our strategic goal of operating a shareholder value-added business by improving operational effectiveness, reducing operating assets and improving customer and employee satisfaction."

He is confident the upward trend will continue. "We are already building a strong order bank for the third quarter and continue to make progress in developing our aftersales operation."

Polar Motor Group is 33 Ford dealerships established in the Ford/Lancaster joint venture in 1998.

The success of Lancaster (number two in the latest AM100)in its partnership with Ford contrasts to the performance of AM100-topping dealer group Pendragon and its relationship with the manufacturer. Ford owns a 49% stake in Pendragon's Ford operation. Last year it made a £4m loss.

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