AM Online

Carshock float decision won't affect expansion

Carshock, the independent new car retailer, has refuted claims that its plans for expansion have been hit by a decision not to float on the alternative investment market (AIM).

That option, says the company, may still be taken, but there are no immediate plans and it is not a prerequisite for future growth.

Mike Porritt, the ex-Caledonia director who founded Carshock in February 2002, says the business will open an outlet in Leeds this week, adding to premises in Newcastle upon Tyne and Darlington. A fourth site, in Hull, will open within three months, with Sheffield and Manchester following. More are not ruled out.

“We will have a gradual roll-out of sites, opening one every three months or so,” says Porritt, who has also worked for Fiat, Peugeot and Ford. He expects to double turnover, currently £9.8m, next year.

All premises will be based on the Carshock blueprint, stocking 100-250 cars on an open site with temporary buildings acting as offices. This low-cost environment – complemented by a website that accounts for a growing eight per cent of all sales – enables the company to offer cut-price deals on a range of new cars, including Toyota, Nissan, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Ford and BMW. The focus is on fast sellers.

“This type of business is the future of car distribution – not the single-marque high-cost showroom. The individual franchised dealer structure is history,” says Porritt.

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