AM Online

Vertu Motors adds Alfa and Jeep as Benfield exits

Vertu Motors has taken over representation of Alfa Romeo and Jeep in Newcastle after Benfield Motor Group relinquished the franchises.

Last week Vertu opened a new Fiat brand centre on Newcastle's Scotswood Road, representing Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep.

The new dealership, based in the completely refurbished former Audi site on Scotswood Road, is managed by Dax Pearce. 

He has more than 20 years experience, particularly working with Alfa Romeo.

The dealership is an approved Motability franchise.

Part of Vertu Motors PLC, the sixth largest motor retailer in the UK (AM100:, the dealership will increase the group’s outlets to 109 and create up to 30 new jobs. 

Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors' chief executive, said:  “We are continuing to develop the group by adding to existing franchise relationships as well as exploring new manufacturer partners.

“This prestigious new dealership will enhance our presence in Newcastle, where we already operate a successful Honda site and boost our partnership with Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Jeep.”

Benfield ended its relationship with Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Jeep franchises at its Warwick Street premises in Newcastle.

This facility along with its Fiat service centre currently located on Scotswood Road, has now transferred to Grantham Motor Company (a subsidiary of Vertu Motors plc) and is now trading as Bristol Street Motors from Benfield's old Audi premises on Scotswood Road.

The reasons behind Benfield's decision are commercial and revolve around the need to make room for its expanding Nissan franchise at Portland road.

Benfield said many of the employees from its Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Jeep business, which had been based in Warwick Road, have transferred to the new dealership.

Benfield took on the Alfa Romeo franchise for Newcastle in 2008, becoming the UK's largest Alfa Romeo dealership when it moved into a 12-car showroom in 2009 to coincide with the arrival of the MiTo, the compact hatchback which Alfa predicted would bring much greater sales volumes.

Vertu, headed by chief executive Robert Forrester, reported this morning that trading continues to be in line with market expectations ahead of its half year results announcement due on October 15.

Its board said it is confident that further progress will be made during the remainder of the financial year.

If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Login to comment


  • Jon - 03/09/2014 09:31

    I am a shareholder in Vertu. I like a lot of what I see, but I have a growing suspicion that the promised efficiencies from all the acquisitions are not coming through as expected. A lot of capital spending in refurbishment, some quite costly acquisitions, and a lot of spending on marketing/customer service does, at some point, need to feed through to the bottom line. I wait in expectation.