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Unipart invests £1.5m in expansion

Unipart Automotive is investing £1.5 million in its nationwide supply network with the opening of an area distribution centre in Bradford and three regional branches.

More branch openings are due to follow this year, putting the expansion into double figures.

The major investment is part of a strategy to develop the motor parts distributor’s branch network and position it to compete more strongly in the UK’s automotive aftermarket.

The announcement came in the same week that Unipart Group chief executive John Neill announced annual turnover and profits had remained flat, and revealed the group’s performance had been “adversely impacted by difficult conditions” in the independent aftermarket.

In January, Unipart Automotive sold its bodyshop parts distribution business, including 34 Brown Brothers outlets, to paint company PPG.

The introduction of a web-based vehicle management system will boost the productivity and efficiency of its delivery fleet, improve response times and give real-time tracking of orders.

Unipart Automotive managing director Dennis Henderson said: “Our enhanced supply chain model has produced significant improvements.

“The investment in our regional branch network demonstrates our commitment to profitable growth with particular focus on customer service, efficiency and quality.”

Unipart already has more than 200 branches. The new branches are at Tottenham, Grimsby and Rayleigh.

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