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Lookers acquires Vauxhall Birmingham territory

Lookers plc has today acquired the Vauxhall franchise for Birmingham – one of the largest and most important market areas in the UK with around 68,000 current owners.

Under the acquisition, Lookers, which took large dealer group silver in the AM awards, will take over two Ryland plc Vauxhall dealerships in central Birmingham - Rystar Aston and Rystar Selly Oak - and 452 Motor Company, the Vauxhall dealership on Chester Road, Castle Bromwich.

'452', originally named after the A-road on which it stood, was a joint-venture Vauxhall Motors Holding site.

The transaction also encompasses two bodyshops (one owned by Rystar Selly Oak and one owned by '452'), Vauxhall wholesale and retail parts operations for Birmingham and two daily rental fleets. There are associated light commercial vehicle centres at Rystar Aston and Rystar Selly Oak and a MasterFit service centre at '452'.

The total final investment by Lookers in the new market area is projected to be around £6m. Further developments are expected to follow as Lookers grows its Vauxhall business in Birmingham and the west Midlands.

Fred Maguire, Lookers executive chairman, said: "We are delighted to have taken over this huge slice of Vauxhall business and we look forward to offering the award-winning Lookers service levels to Vauxhall customers in the region.

"This move will make Lookers one of the largest Vauxhall retailers in the UK and perfectly complements our existing Vauxhall businesses in Liverpool, the Wirral and Chester."

Lookers plans to sell more than 5,000 new and used cars and light commercial vehicles a year from the dealerships in Birmingham. The takeover of the Ryland and '452' businesses will add around £65m to annual turnover (£374m to half-year, 30th June 2001).

The new dealerships will report to Brian Schumacker, Lookers operations director with responsibility for Vauxhall. Key senior personnel in the region, including Steve Robinson of '452' and Julie Samuels of Rystar, will continue to run the businesses on a day-to-day basis.

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