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Lookers buys another supermarket

Lookers is driving growth of its used car business with its second purchase of a used car supermarket this year.

The Manchester-based dealer group, currently ranked No 9 in the AM100, has paid £12m for Ian Shipton Cars in Burton-upon-Trent.

That follows its acquisition of Bristol Trade Centre in January for £8.5m, which has continued to operate under its established name as a separate division within Lookers.

Chief executive Ken Surgenor says Ian Shipton Cars, which sells about 7,000 used vehicles a year from its seven-and-a-half acre site, will also retain its trade name and senior operational management. “This is already a very successful business and there is no reason to change its operating structure,” says Surgenor.

“The two businesses combined give us a geographical spread in used car sales and the opportunity to retail about 11,000 high quality used cars a year, in addition to our dealer-based used car operations.”

Surgenor says it will add £50m to Lookers’ annual turnover, currently £1.1bn. Last August, when Lookers revealed its strategy to increase used car volumes, its ratio of new/used sales was equal. It aims to achieve three used car sales for every new car.

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