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Inchcape adds eighth bodyshop

Inchcape has acquired Robert Smith Group’s bodyshop in Chester as part of the £18.1m deal which included Mercedes-Benz car showrooms in Liverpool, Warrington, Chester, Southport, West Kirby and Llandudno, plus a Smart dealership in Liverpool.

The company intends to retain the standalone bodyshop, which takes its network of accident repair centres to eight, plus one panel shop at the Brooklands site which specialises in refurbishment and PDI.

Guy Williamson, Inchcape head of communications says: “The bodyshop is a valuable asset for us. It services the Mercedes showroom in Chester and has the potential to service some of our other Mercedes dealerships in the area. All our bodyshops are franchise specific.”

Meanwhile Inchcape is headhunting executives to replace CEO Peter Johnson, who becomes non-executive chairman in 2006. Inchcape UK and Europe managing director Graeme Potts is understood to be an internal candidate.

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