It is understood that the group has sold the site at Selkirk in the Scottish Borders region to a company outside motor retailing. John Martin intends to sell new BMWs and Minis in the area by arranging test drives at customers’ homes or place of work.
The dealership, which closed at the end of November, was a satellite to the group’s BMW/Mini site at Edinburgh, which is 30 miles north-west of Selkirk. The group now plans to build a dedicated Mini showroom in Edinburgh with greater capacity for stock.
A BMW UK spokesman says: “This decision was taken by John Martin Group alone, and not because of any influence from us.”
Gordon Nisbet, John Martin Group managing director, says: “We are disappointed that our analysis of the Borders market has forced us to close our satellite operation.”
Over the past two years, the group has reviewed its franchise partnerships in order to maximize profit potential. Where the outlook is poor, the policy is to dispose of the site.
Sales staff at the Selkirk outlet were offered jobs at other outlets in Selkirk. The prospects for service staff are unclear.