The combined turnover of the new business will now be around £35m while the trading names of the different dealerships will remain in place.
Southampton Saab is a single site group, but the acquisition means it now has three sites in total, all of which represent Saab. The 85 existing staff at the new sites have all been retained.
The Whitequay Group grew from a single dealership in 1991 with Reading Saab and developed into a multi-franchise operation with Alfa being added. It also has a site at Newbury, encompassing both Saab and Skoda under one roof. Sales at both sites are currently around 1,600 units a year and the company is aiming to build on this.
“We are certainly looking to increase on this, especially with a range of new products being added by all three franchises,” says Ian John, managing director of Southampton Saab.
“This is a tremendous challenge for me. We have great staff here and they have reacted positively to the move. I’m looking forward to working with them to move the business forward.” Southampton Saab recently refurbished its showroom to achieve Saab Unlimited Partner status, the retail concept designed to create a ‘distinctive brand environment’.
The Newbury site has already achieved this, being a new-build just last year and the company is now aiming to gain a similar status for the Reading showroom.