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Grose closes its Subaru business

John Grose has closed its Subaru and Isuzu business in Melton, near Ipswich, after less than two years with the franchise.

The closure, a joint decision between the dealer and Subaru importer IM Group, was due to lack of demand for the brand.

Last year John Grose sold around 50 new Subarus.

Ian Twinley, John Grose chairman, said: “Subaru hadn’t been represented in Ipswich for a while so there weren’t many vehicles in use. In terms of market potential and population in this area, we just couldn’t justify a franchise.”

Twinley has replaced the franchise with a used car operation. He added that a franchise in the centre of Ipswich might have been more successful than the Melton site’s rural location.

Subaru trumpeted the dealership’s opening in 2006, highlighting the region’s affluent rural community and how the outlet covered a wide geographic area, including Ipswich.

Subaru has now appointed Hammonds of Halesworth, based in a small town 30 miles from Ipswich, as a Subaru and Daihatsu franchisee.

Hammonds already sells Isuzu, also an IM Group brand, plus Ford, Land Rover and Nissan.

A stand-alone site will open in July, but Subaru currently retails alongside the Nissan business.

Arthur Fairley, IM Group media and PR director, said: “The franchise with John Grose just didn’t fit.”

n Daihatsu, another Japanese brand distributed by IM Group, has announced plans to recruit 20 dealers to boost its network to 140 sites.

IM Group has already appointed eight dealers this year.

The new dealers are Newark in Crewe, Eastbourne Daihatsu, Cheriton Motor House of Folkestone, Hammonds of Halesworth and Downey’s of Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

Cist and Rattle of Bristol, Lime of Leamington and Donnelly in Belfast replace existing Daihatsu dealers.

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