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Ford buys Jardine out from Polar Motor Group

Ford has contracted to acquire the Jardine Motors Group's 51% stake in Polar Motor Group, for an undisclosed sum - subject to EU approval – a process which Ford expects to take at least a month.

"Outright ownership of Polar is a natural fit for Ford Retail Europe's strategy, giving us control of Ford representation in key metropolitan areas," said Earl Hesterberg, vice-president for sales, marketing and service, Ford of Europe. "It will not only enable us to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction but also industry-leading levels of parts availability."

The Polar Motor group covers 11 key metropolitan areas in the UK, and adds to Ford Retail UK's three dealerships in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester. Ford also has a 49% shareholding in Lindsay Cars in Belfast.

Ford and Jardine formed Polar Motor Group in 1998, which then operated dealerships in Bradford, Warrington and York. In March 1999 the Polar group purchased Dagenham Motors Group plc and has since acquired further dealerships in the London and Yorkshire areas. Polar currently employs around 2,500 people, had group sales in 2003 of 46,000 new and used units and revenue over £600 million.

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