AM Online

JMG downsizes, Lookers grows

Scottish motor retailer John Martin Group has taken initial steps in a strategy to streamline its business.

AM revealed in June that the £252m turnover company is reviewing its operation, currently representing 13 carmakers. This week, JMG sold two Volvo operations in Glasgow and Hamilton to Lookers.

The sale follows its decision two months ago to close a Volvo dealership in Paisley.

Gordon Nisbet, managing director, says JMG will keep its two dual-franchised Volvo/Mazda outlets in Edinburgh.

Nisbet’s next move is to dispose of JMG’s Citroën business in Dundee. “We’re in talks with one or two people but nothing has been settled at the moment,” he says.

JMG will then move its Aston Martin and Mini operations in Edinburgh to new showrooms. The sale doubles Lookers’ existing Volvo representation. It will relocate the businesses in early 2006 and re-name them as Taggarts, its brand in Scotland. Hamilton Volvo will move to Lookers’ multi-franchise Mazda, Jaguar and Land Rover site in Motherwell. Glasgow Volvo will join Lookers’ Jaguar outlet in Maryhill Road. JMG will then sell the empty showrooms.

Lookers’ chief executive Ken Surgenor says: “This acquisition complements our existing PAG businesses in the Glasgow area and strengthens our offering of prestige brands. We fully expect this business to contribute positively to earnings in the next financial year and look forward to realizing economies of scale in the region.”

John Martin Group wants to concentrate on Edinburgh and Aberdeen following the death of John Martin Jnr last year.

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