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Vantage buys Bradford Honda site from Pendragon

Mark Robinson

Vantage Motor Group has completed the acquisition of Stratstone Honda in Bradford, its first dealership in West Yorkshire, bringing group turnover to £215 million and increasing its number of sites to 20.

The move is the next phase in Vantage’s long term strategy with Honda, which continues following the group’s first Honda acquisition in 2013, in Barnsley.

Honda has recently revealed plans to revive the brand’s fortunes in the UK with improvements coming in this year fuelled by new car launches and retention tools.

The dealership will sell 350 used and 500 new cars per annum and will be rebranding as Vantage Honda – Bradford.

All 20 of the current staff at the dealership will be retained and Vantage says it will be investing in the site.
Mark Robinson, Vantage Motor Group managing director, said: “The acquisition is part of our ongoing growth strategy and demonstrates our commitment to further developing the Vantage business in Yorkshire.

“This is a very important year for Honda UK as it lays the foundations for a brighter future and we are gearing up with the brand at the ideal time with this acquisition."
Leon Brannan, head of car for Honda (UK), said: "The acquisition represents a great opportunity for both Vantage and Honda in their local Yorkshire territories off the back of their success in Barnsley. And great timing with a complete and exciting refresh of the Honda range over the next 12 months as we look to grow our business."

Honda has six UK car launches planned for 2015, starting with the revised Civic hatchback and CR-V medium SUV in March, and followed by a new Jazz supermini, Civic Type-R hot hatchback and HR-V compact SUV in the summer. The network will receive the new NSX supercar before the end of the year, re-entering a market segment the brand exited in 2005.

Vantage was advised on the acquisition by Walker Morris and Grant Thornton.

Paul Burrows, Grant Thornton automotive director responsible for M&A, said: “The Vantage brand is a very strong one and this acquisition demonstrates their commitment to Honda alongside their other portfolio brands.  The deal reflects the growth aspirations of the company and the general mood of positivity in the market.”

In the past year Vantage Motor Group’s turnover has grown from £65m to more than £210m. The group employs 500 people and has increased its number of sites from seven in Yorkshire and Lancashire to 20 across the North of England and the West Midlands.

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