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Bryan Brothers bought by Carco

Carco Group’s takeover of Bryan Brothers will increase the Bristol-based independent retailer’s annual turnover to almost £75 million and push its staff headcount up to 250.

After the asset-based acquisition, Carco will only retain the Citroën franchise which will be rebranded City Motors, one of Carco’s trading names (SJ Cook and Sons is the other).

It will not continue Bryan Brothers’ representation of Volvo or Saab or its Ford-authorised repair and bodyshop operations – all located at the company’s multi-franchised site on St Philips Causeway in Bristol.

Carco will retain the 4.5-acre site, but has not made any decision about which franchises will fill the vacant premises.

Bryan Brothers acquired the Volvo franchise at the start of last year and opened a purpose-built showroom in February 2007.

The Volvo stock had been in the process of winding down.

Volvo said it was “talking to a number of parties about the new car sales business” and confirmed that Carco will remain an authorised Volvo repairer.

A Saab spokesman said there will be an announcement on the area franchise “very shortly in what will be a very quick move”.

One option open to General Motors UK is to re-locate Saab within the Drive Motor Retail Vauxhall and Chevrolet facility in Bristol.

Williams Automobiles runs a Saab used car and service unit in Avonmeads, next door to Bryan Brothers site.

Robin Cook, MD of Carco Group, said adding the Citroën outlet to its three Renault dealerships inv-olved running “complementary but contrasting French brands”.

Fourth-generation car retailer Cook revealed that Carco would add an undisclosed franchise alongside Renault in Weston-super-Mare later this summer.

Cook said that Ford and GM’s respective Swedish brands did not fit with Carco’s future strategy.

“We have had no communication with Saab and while we had discussions with Volvo we were not in a position to agree anything,” he added.

Following the takeover, Carco’s Renault and Citroën new car sales should total 3,000 units annually with the same number of used vehicles.

The takeover does not involve Richard Bryan joining Carco.

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