AM Online

Jardine makes quiet move with Scotthall brand

Jardine Motors Group has acquired Milcars Holdings' London BMW and Mini business. The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, came to light while AM was compiling its annual listing of the top 100 automotive retail groups.

Milcars, which was No 66 in the June 2003 AM100 with a turnover of £101m, continues to operate a Mazda showroom and standalone aftersales facility in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Its four London BMW/Mini showrooms – Ruislip, Borehamwood, Temple Fortune in north-west London and Stanmore, are now trading under Jardine's Scotthall BMW brand, adding to its sites in Cambridge, Eastleigh and Leeds.

The acquisition – conducted without publicity in September – is expected to take Jardine, which sold its 51% stake in Polar Motor Group to Ford last month, to around £900m turnover, down from £1.045bn in the November AM100 listing. The group's focus has now shifted away from volume sales franchises towards the premium end of the market.

BMW's London region has seen a major shake-up over the last 12 months with several sites changing hands.

Inchcape has been the main beneficiary with the acquisition in August last year of six BMW dealerships. Four sites – Banstead, Croydon, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells – were netted after the group completed the £12m acquisition of L&C Holdings, the £106.3m turnover Kent-based BMW retailer. Two more dealerships, in Cobham and Wimbledon, were bought from William Jacks for £7.7m. Inchcape sold two sites – Harold Wood and Chigwell – to Sytner.

Find out where Jardine sits in the AM100 when the new listing is unveiled at the annual dinner at the Birmingham Metropole on June 9.

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