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Springfield sale U-turn

Springfield Motor Group has pulled back from a deal to sell its seven franchised dealerships to Peter Vardy.

The Tyne & Wear-based business, which has five Honda sites and one each for Citroën, Citroën LCV and Suzuki, had been locked in negotiations for more than a month and, according to group insiders, was at the point of being sold to Peter Vardy.

Ron Price, chairman of Springfield, confirms the negotiations were taking place, but adds: “I decided I didn’t want to sell and that I intend to keep the company in the control of the family.

“We have all worked extremely hard over the last few years to establish ourselves as a professional, successful business, but we have only just scratched the surface.

“Our plan is to continue to grow with our franchise partners. We have had a record first quarter and have an exciting future.”

Peter Vardy Ltd has since announced its second acquisition. The Vauxhall dealership in Motherwell, which will add around £12m to turnover this year, was acquired from Pendragon and becomes Vardy’s second Vauxhall franchise.

Its third will open in July at a new-build showroom in Kirkcaldy.

The Motherwell dealership was a former Reg Vardy business. Under the terms of the deal, it will be rebranded as Peter’s Car Company, a new division of Peter Vardy Ltd. Any other purchases from Pendragon will also trade under this new brand, as part of a three-year agreement with the company.

Former Reg Vardy general manager Steve Gould will run the dealership as a managing partner.

Peter Vardy is building a new dealership on the same site, which will also house Chevrolet, Vauxhall LCV and the group head office. It will open early next year.

John Cuthbertson, former Reg Vardy regional director, will be the managing partner running the new Kirkcaldy dealership.

“I hope to make more acquisitions this year. My preference is to buy one at a time so we can introduce our new processes,” says Vardy.

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