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Phoenix sets sights on AM100 placing

Phoenix Car Company, one of Scotland's largest car retailers, is planning an aggressive expansion strategy that will see it nearly double turnover to £100m.

That would propel the Glasgow-based group, which represents Citroen, Kia, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki, inside the AM100 top 80, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Stoneacre and CEM Day. Last year it turned over £58m; this year it predicts £62m.

John McGuire, Phoenix Car Company managing director, has identified several areas for growth. Cornerstones of his plan include boosting new and used car sales, increasing servicing business and acquiring new sites over the next two and a half years. Used car sales currently account for £30m worth of turnover with sales of 3000 units on typical three-year/30,000-mile stock.

Next year, McGuire hopes to increase capacity at the seven-acre Glasgow site from 400 to 500 vehicles and extend the used offering to include four-year/40,000-mile cars.

With plans to add new sites to the network, Phoenix will increase used car turnover to more than £50m a year as it brings operations at Stirling and Falkirk on stream. New car sales are also expected to be buoyant next year as economic prospects remain bright and manufacturers gear up for major product launches. “We are an entrepreneurial business that is not afraid to take risks. But we will only take a calculated risk and each opportunity we seize must represent an important strategic benefit to our business,” McGuire says. Despite much criticism from his peers about last month's Scottish Motor Show, McGuire is a strong believer in the event. Phoenix sold more than 70 vehicles through the show with the majority being conquest sales.

The group, which also runs a 20,000sq-ft bodyshop at its Glasgow site, plans to raise its staff base from 150 to 230 employees over the next 12 months and is reducing the working week from six to five days.

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