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.