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Inchcape rethinks MCL investment

Inchcape is considering selling its 40% stake in MCL Group after the company lost its Mazda import and distribution business in the UK. MCL continues to represent Kia Cars from its offices in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Peter Johnson, Inchcape chief executive, said he would be discussing “the future of our investment” with Japanese trading house Itochu, holder of the remaining shares in MCL. An Inchcape spokeswoman said: “We no longer have much Mazda business, bar our successful operation in Hong Kong and a loss-making Finnish counterpart.

“It is down to finding out which direction MCL is going in and whether we sell our percentage. There may be other business opportunities within the company.”

Mark Quinn, Kia Cars UK managing director, said it was “business as usual” for the company. He dismissed as “ridiculous” industry speculation that he was planning a management buy-out of the Kia import business from MCL.

“Kia continues to expand in Britain with our dealer network growing to more than 100 outlets by the end of October,” he said. “No-one is looking at jettisoning Kia.”

Mr Quinn said MCL was trying to “re-invent itself” as a service provider, with clients including Mazda.

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