AM Online

Potts set for comeback with 'up to 20 outlets'

Graeme Potts, who left Inchcape Group a year ago, is to make a return to motor retailing and build a group of up to 20 dealerships.

He is having informal discussions with manufacturers and dealer groups, and is expected to announce the formation of a new business this autumn.

“I enjoyed my time at Inchcape hugely, but now want to be running a business small enough to get my arms around,” said Potts. “I am open minded about the manufacturers I will represent – it’s the potential of the dealerships that counts.”

Potts says arranging finance is “not a problem” to build a dealer group of this scale, and his experience will make him a sound prospect for investors.

He has no ambition to develop a group of the scale of Vertu Motors, founded by former Reg Vardy managing director Robert Forrester. Vertu’s acqusition of Bristol Street Motors took the business to number 10 in the AM100.

Potts was previously chief executive of Reg Vardy Group, where he served for 16 years before moving to RAC Motoring Services as group managing director.

He was managing director for the UK, Europe and South America at Inchcape Group for four years until last September when he left to seek “new challenges”.

At the time Andre Lacroix, Inchcape chief executive, said the UK business had “significantly improved” under Potts’ leadership, with growth achieved organically and through acquisitions, such as Lind Group. Lacroix did not replace Potts and appointed Spencer Lock, UK Retail managing director, to report directly to him.

Potts told AM: “I now want a more portfolio approach to life. Over the past year I have been working in a number of advisory roles, some connected to my Christian beliefs.”

In July 2006, Potts became a non-executive director of Mitie Group, a building and infrastructure business. He is also on the board of BEN, the motor industry charity.

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