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Former Hartwell director to run Skoda dealership

Central Skoda Birmingham, a new Skoda dealership, will open its doors on July 21 ahead of its official opening in September.

The 1.4-acre site, acquired by Skoda as part of its sponsored retailer programme, will house 10 cars in the showroom as well as 80 used cars on the forecourt.

It also has 150 spaces at the rear of the building.

Run by former Hartwell regional director Mike Byrne, the dealership will employ 12 people, including four technicians and four salespeople, expanding to 20 staff after six months.

Byrne expects to sell 500 new and 500 used cars in the first two years, with £5m predicted turnover in the first 12 months.

This will rise to £10m over three years, he said.

“We will be servicing all brands of cars, and we are also going to set up a tyre and exhaust centre, due to open in September,” Byrne added.

Skoda said it had not had a retailer in north Birmingham for some time.

“We’ve taken the time to find the right person – someone who will deliver the same levels of outstanding customer service that Skoda is renowned for – and we believe we have done so in Mike Byrne,” said a spokesperson.

Marketing for the new dealership includes local radio campaigns and mailshots.

Skoda currently has 17 open points in the UK and expects to open three more dealerships in the near future.

Byrne set up Car Dealer Profit, a motor interim management company, after leaving Hartwells, which he continues to own, but he will not be involved in its operations.

Meanwhile, Westover Skoda in Corfe Mullen has overhauled its business in a bid “to bring customer care levels up to the industry’s highest standards”.

It has brought in a new brand manager and sales team as well as refurbishing the site and changing systems.

It will also add a Renault service centre to its operations.

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