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IM Group merges Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu brands

IM Group has merged the Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu brands under a single management structure, with Paul Tunnicliffe at the helm, in order to reduce costs.

Lawrence Good, previously managing director of Subaru and Isuzu UK, has now left the business and approached IM Group to head up IM Group’s only owned dealership Showells in Lye Stourbridge, West Midlands.

IM Group refused to comment on suggestions that Good had actually bought the dealership from them.

IM Group informed the dealer network of the changes via email.

New MD Tunnicliffe said: “In this uncertain business climate, it is vitally important for the sake of our manufacturers, dealers and staff that we take every opportunity to review our spending levels and reduce costs. 

“This new structure will unfortunately result in some redundancies but, at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to streamline our operations.

“Although we face tough times ahead, this new structure, and the savings it brings, gives us the best possible opportunity to maximise the potential of all our brands.”

Tunnicliffe highlighted that Subaru will be focusing on helping dealers exploit volume from the addition of a Boxer diesel engine to the range.

Sam Burton remains sales director for Subaru and Isuzu. Paul Hegarty becomes operations director for Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu.

IM Group refused to comment further on how the changes would affect dealers and where the further redundancies would be made until Tunnicliffe returns from a business trip to Japan.

Stephen Tillburn, dealer principal at Subaru and Isuzu dealer Hylton Gott in Downham Market, said: “I haven’t met with Paul yet but I’m sure it will be fine and I can’t see the changes impacting on us in a negative way.”

Tillburn said Sam Burton, Subaru, Isuzu sales director, was keen to remove hurdles for him. However, Tillburn was happy with franchise as it was. In fact, he said it was a “breath of fresh air”.

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