The group has six Lexus dealerships; all, bar Leicester, are being redeveloped or relocated over the next year:
Milton Keynes, a £4.7m investment, officially opened last month; Birmingham is being redeveloped on a 6.5-acre site near the M6 and will open towards the end of the year; Cardiff will be redeveloped in 2007; Bristol is due to move to Cribbs Causeway next year; and Oxford, where a new site is being sought.
“We are looking to grow our relationship with Lexus – both organically where it fits in with our territories and through acquisition,” says Nick Hilton, Sytner Lexus franchise director.
Last year, Sytner handled around 11% of Lexus’ 10,548 sales; it intends to do 20% of Lexus volume. The group has already invested around £20m in its Lexus showrooms, with more to come.
Gerard Nieuwenhuys, Sytner group managing director, says the company’s commitment to investment makes it unique in the UK.
“Not everyone wants to, or can, do it but we are having huge success from this approach,” he says. “We have invested more than £100m in facilities since United Auto Group bought the company .”
He expects Sytner to grow its profits ahead of turnover growth this year. With the pending acquisition of William Jacks, group turnover will be close to £2bn, while Nieuwenhuys is confident the group can achieve 25% return on capital employed for the second year in succession.
“All our future investment is made with a view to making 25% ROCE. The key to this success is the quality of the management team and our fantastic facilities. We create the right conditions for entrepreneurs to thrive,” he says.