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AM Award winner CMW sells up

AM Dealership of the year (up to £10m turnover) CMW Automobiles Ltd has sold to Toll House Group for an undisclosed sum, just three weeks after winning the award.

The Haywards Heath site gives the twin-site Toyota retail group an extra foothold in West Sussex, expanding on its existing locations at Gatwick and Horsham, and adding Suzuki (AM’s carmaker of the year) to its portfolio.

Managing director Richard Ferris, who started the family run CMW business in 1973, is thought to have been considering the sale since summer 2006 and the final deal was well underway by the AM Awards in February.

Peter McLaughlin of Toll House says: “We are very confident that representing Suzuki will bring long-term, revenue enhancing opportunities and, to take over an existing, profitable operation like CMW, our long-term strategies will be realized sooner rather than later.”

CMW experienced a dip in its profit performance after Ferris left the company three years ago. His return in 2005 was central to CMW’s recent success, with car sales almost tripling under his management.

Although the deal marks the end of his involvement with the dealership itself, Ferris will retain the on-site petrol forecourt, while his son Mark continues as dealer principal.

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