The move comes less than a month after the group bought its fourth VW dealership – Northallerton VW, from the Massingberd Group for £630,000 – and it has not ruled out further acquisitions.
“Volkswagen is a very important partner to us and our existing sites are very successful. We are always looking to grow and always looking for sites with the right geographical fit,” says Brian Schumacker, Lookers operations director.
The group is also in talks with Audi as it looks to add the German manufacturer to its portfolio, although it has ruled out having Audi and VW on the same site.
“We are in dialogue with them and it’s just a case of looking for the right site at the right time, but we wouldn’t have the two together. There is no room at our VW sites and it is not something we would be looking at.”
The Darlington site has an annual turnover of £15m and four years ago underwent a £500,000 refurbishment investment to bring it up to the Volkswagen Retail Concept standard. The 1.25-acre site has an 11-car showroom along with a used car business and this year is estimated to sell around 1,000 vehicles. All current dealership staff will be retained.
Lookers has four VW dealerships across the north-east, including Blackburn. Middlesbrough, Burnley and Northallerton.