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CMH to take multi-brand retail route

Expanding south and west of England dealer group City Motor Holdings is to open a multi-franchise motor retail park in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on September 1 as a template for possible redevelopment in other territories.

The move brings Ford, Peugeot, Citroen, Rover and Honda outlets and a new bodyshop to a seven-acre site in the town. CMH, which is in talks to add a sixth franchise, already represents Ford in Newbury, Peugeot in Chichester, Basingstoke, Horsham and Haselmere; Citroen and Rover in Chichester and Basingstoke, and Honda in Basingstoke. It also holds the Mercedes and Smart south-west territory.

Managing director Chris Elvidge describes the one-site strategy for Basingstoke as a logical step but says the group's major business expansion activities will be based around the DaimlerChrysler brands in the West Country.

“We've only just started with Mercedes-Benz and Smart and believe there is significant growth potential, so much so that we are now forecasting £220m group turnover for 2004,” says Elvidge. He expects turnover this year to reach £185m (2002: £150m; 2001: £108m).

With that volume of business CMH would be propelled into the AM100 top 30, vying with the likes of Ford Retail (28th, £220m), Lind Automotive Group (29th, £214m) and Pentagon Group (30th, £209m). In previous AM100 listings CMH has been in the 60-70 rankings.

The company also operates four accident repair centres – in Chichester, Basingstoke, Newbury and Exeter – a tyre and fast-fit auto centre, three used car operations and two filling stations. “It is our intention to further develop relationships with manufacturers who have a broad, dependable product range, sound marketing strategy and stable future,” adds Elvidge.

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