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Breeze and Harwoods divide Testwood split

Southampton-based Volkswagen and Audi dealer Testwood Motor Group has been split up and sold off after two of its three directors – Melvyn Hobson and David Henley – decided to retire.

The Audi dealership, a body-shop and a MAN/ERF franchise has been acquired by Harwoods Ltd, adding to its portfolio of premium brands in the south of England. The remaining Testwood director, Ed Oakley, will join Harwoods’ board.

Breeze Volkswagen of Poole, Dorset has taken over the Volks- wagen cars and vans businesses. Harwoods, currently running premium franchises including Land Rover, Bentley, Aston Martin and Jaguar, continues with a policy of making “selective acquisitions when the opportunities present themselves”.

Highlighted by AM a year ago as one to watch, turnover will rise as a result of the acquisition by £25m to £140m. Staff numbers will rise by 110 to more than 400.

Breeze Volkswagen was established in August 2000. In March this year it moved into its sole £6m dealership in Poole, Dorset, selling cars and vans. Acquiring the Testwood VW business is stage two in its expansion plans. Both staff and turnover are expected to double, to £50m and about 200.

Managing director John Corderoy says: “Within five years we will be looking to double the size of our business by making VW acquisitions in the area as and when they arise.”

Harwoods and Breeze will “work together” on Testwood’s Volkswagen and Audi trade parts business as a transitional arrangement. This business will be split between them at a point in the future when they can “ensure customers are not inconvenienced”.

All the businesses will operate from their current premises.

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