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Allianze to create high street network

Scottish used car retailer Allianze Group has paid £600,000 to acquire the Car Connections website. It plans to develop the business as a chain of high street retail outlets alongside its AutoUniq car mini-supermarket.

Allianze partners, ex-Ford dealer Sandy Bruce and ex-CEO of Edinburgh Woollen Mills Colin Birrell, will announce the location of the first Car Connections store next week.

Within three years they expect turnover to increase from £2m to £30m from a network of 10-12 shops spreading from north of Manchester to south of Inverness.

Supporting each store will be an AutoUniq centre or affiliated local dealer. AutoUniq has been piloted in Stranraer for the past eight months and the two men are looking for a second site.

The business will sell pre-registered cars, nearly new and used models, plus Formula 1 branded merchandise and car accessories.

“Buying Car Connections is the first step in a new long term development plan for the business,” says Bruce.“We will provide an estate/ travel agent environment with a motorsport theme that puts all of the bits of the business together, depending on location. Stores can be as small as 500 sq-ft, but we see a typical size of 2,000 sq-ft.”

Longer term Bruce also intends to set up a fast-fit network called Auto Advantage.

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