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Scottish car dealer Arnold Clark acquires Ness Motors

Eddie Hawthorne, Arnold Clark Automobiles chief executive

Arnold Clark Automobiles, Europe’s largest independent car dealer, has acquired Ness Motors.

Arnold Clark, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, will acquire 104 employees and sites in Inverness, Elgin and Perth. All of the branches will be Renault, Dacia or Citroen franchises. 

Eddie Hawthorne (pictured), managing director, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Ness Motors to the Arnold Clark family. As a company, we share many of the same values as Ness Motors, and look forward to continuing to offer great value and excellent service to customers at the new showrooms.’

Sir Arnold Clark established the group in 1954 and now employs more than 9,000 staff nationwide, with branches located in Scotland and England.

The company has been awarded the title of Retailer of the Year by Automotive Management for the past three years, and had a turnover of £2.9 billion in 2014. 

Ness Motors was founded in 1960, and was purchased by company accountant Scott Lauder in the early 1980s from retiring owner and chairman Bill Gilbert. The business expanded through the years by acquiring a number of franchises for the North of Scotland, including Renault.

Ness Motors financial highlights (2013)

Turnover: £47.5 million

PBT: £206,000

Profit margin: 0.43

RoCE: 5.01

Gearing: 154.47%


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