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Johnsons takes on Volvo sites

Redditch based Johnsons Cars has acquired two Volvo dealerships from Asgard in Stourbridge and Solihull for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase is part of the company’s ongoing expansion and it already has plans for a further two acquisitions. Johnsons, currently 97th in the AM100, has doubled its turnover in the last 18 months from £100m to around £200m and has also added VW to its franchise list.

“We are looking to develop the representation we have via our existing franchises over the coming years,” says Mike Berwick, operations director for Johnsons Cars.

“We are always on the lookout for acquisitions but do not have any plans to add any new brands to our existing portfolio. Instead we plan to broaden the relationship with our franchises and expand the representation in our current locations.”

The group has purchased four sites so far this year including a Honda dealership in Slough and Volkswagen in Solihull. Founded in 1999, the latest acquisition makes it one of the largest independent Volvo dealer groups in the UK.

Johnsons Cars now has six Volvo dealerships with existing sites at Gloucester, Hereford, Redditch and Worcester. The group has 16 dealerships in all including Toyota, Lexus, Honda and Volkswagen franchises.

Meanwhile, Johnsons is facing compensation claims for racial discrimination and the unauthorised deduction of pay of two employees who were made redundant from the parts department at the company’s Volvo dealership in Redditch.

Michael Ralhr and Michael McFarlane both lost their jobs earlier this year and Ralhr alleges he was unfairly selected for redundancy and is owed wages by the group. McFarlane also complains he was unfairly selected for redundancy.

Neither men attended an employment tribunal preliminary hearing last month which was informed that the applications to the tribunal had been made too late, beyond the three month deadline following the redundancies in May.

The firm denies the racial discrimination allegations and is opposing the claims while both men have since found other jobs. A full tribunal hearing is due later this month and tribunal chairman John Parkin said he would allow both men to have their cases heard.

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