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Honda replaces Perth and Aberdeen franchises

Honda has secured new franchisees in Aberdeen and Perth, following the exit of Scottish dealer group Manor Oak from motor retailing.

Manor Oak’s Perth Honda dealership has been acquired by West End Garage, a family-led business which has represented the Japanese brand in Dundee for decades.

Manor Oak’s Aberdeen site has been bought by Town & County group, a new partner for Honda.

Manor Oak was formed in 2007 by Kevin Lamb, finance director of one-time major Scottish group Glenvarigill.

Lamb’s company traded from former Glenvarigill Honda and Peugeot sites. Its two Peugeot dealerships went bust in October, raising concerns that the Honda sites were also underperforming.

At Town & County, managing director Athol Strachan said he is confident about 2010.

““I’m delighted to have pulled off the Honda deal,” he said. “I’m very upbeat about the future and feel the trade is getting there after a difficult time. Certainly, 2009 has been a far better year than 2008 and next year looks promising.”

T&C now has a workforce of more than 230 and turned over £53.8 million in 2008. Strachan hopes to increase turnover to around £70 million next year.

The Aberdeen Honda outlet sells around 1,000 new and used units. Under T&C management the Honda dealership, which will be run by Keith Johnston, is expected to increase new and used sales to around 1,200 units in 2010.

At West End Garage, director James Ewart said the deal safeguards 18 jobs and now creates a group with 50 staff. He expects to increase sales at the Perth site.

“It is an excellent addition to our business,” Ewart added.

“Having been established in Dundee for more than 30 years it is very exciting to be branching out. We have met the whole team and everybody has a great deal of hands-on experience.”

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