AM Online

Porritt seeks 'underperformers'

CarShock, the northern-based car supermarket, is going on the acquisition trail. The firm, which has been the fastest growing car retailer in the UK for the last two consecutive years according to The Sunday Times, is now on the hunt for what it terms 'underperformers'.

It comes after AM revealed that Virgin Cars is off-loading its business to Derek Cook, the former chairman of DC Cook who runs Virgin-rival Motor Solutions.

Mike Porritt, managing director, says: “We have demonstrated over the past two years that we know more about growing and operating a successful multi-brand new car sales operation than anybody. “We don't need expensive prime trading sites, we don't need potted palms and flash showrooms – and we don't need smarmy websites.”

Porritt says CarShock runs on miserly overheads, good sales people, low prices, fast stock turnaround and not taking itself too seriously, as last month's Boss Swap television show, which featured Porritt, proved. If it plans to maintain its position as one of Britain's fastest growing companies, it will need to push turnover up by between £10m and £20m this year, and double that again next year.

Currently on £20m turnover CarShock aims to open a site every three months. The first will be in York early next year, taking CarShock's total number of sites to five. It opened sites in Newcastle and Darlington earlier this year and also has sites in Leeds and Gateshead (AM, December 12 2003).

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