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Mr Unique buys Citroën showroom from Charvills

Regional fast-fit business Mr Unique has bought a Citroën showroom and aftersales franchise from Hertfordshire motor retail group Charvills.

The operation in Hoddesdon now carries out Citroën servicing and repairs under the name Unique Citroën, as well as a range of tyre and exhaust replacements, wheel alignment and services for other makes of vehicles at this site.

Most staff have transferred, including general manager Ian McKean. He will continue to run the Citroën aftersales franchise, while Steve Gilmour will manage the independent side of the business.

The former new car showroom will be used to retail used cars and tuning products such as alloy wheels and window tints. Nevertheless, Gilmour says the company may consider applying to Citroën for a new car franchise.

“We’ve never really looked at the franchise business model before, so it’s a bit of a learning curve for us. Thankfully, we’ve got Ian McKean on board,” says Gilmour.

Mr Unique was founded in Hoddesdon in 1979 by Joe Martorana, who still owns the business. It later moved to Cheshunt. Until the latest acquisition it was a single-site business.

Gilmour says a third site has been earmarked for the group to take on “in a couple of years”. At present, Cheshunt does around 7,500 jobs a year, and he expects Hoddesdon to achieve “a bit more than that”.

Charvills’ managing director John Charvill says: “We are delighted that our Hoddesdon business and our valued Citroën customers will be placed in the capable hands of Mr Unique, a company that specializes in after sales. Like Charvills, Mr Unique is a family-owned company that has an excellent reputation for customer service and has been established in Hertfordshire for more than 25 years.”

AM first reported in July that Charvills was making a loss at the combined Citroën and Hyundai dealership, which it had opened only one year earlier at a cost of £500,000.

John Charvill said at the time the group needed to reduce costs and concentrate on its other dealerships.

Citroën declined to comment on the move or whether they are seeking to appoint a new sales franchisee in the area. But a spokesperson for Hyundai tells AM: “We can confirm that we are currently investigating opportunities for other franchises in the area, but have nothing more to add at this time.”

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