AM Online

Vantage Motor Group adds Skoda with Morecombe purchase

Mark Robinson

Vantage Motor Group has acquired David Ian Skoda in Morecambe – its first Skoda dealership – boosting group turnover by £8 million from £215m to £223m and increasing its network of sites to 21.

The deal sees Skoda join Toyota, Kia, Citroen, Honda, Hyundai and Lexus in Vantage’s portfolio and soon after the group extended its Honda last month with the acquisition of Honda Bradford.

A motivation in the purchase was five years of record growth, culminating in sales of 76,027 cars in the UK last year (some 10,000 more than in 2013) for Skoda.

According to the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) released by the Institute of Customer Service, Skoda is the most satisfying car brand sold in Britain and was placed in the top 10% of all firms retailing in Britain, alongside household names such as John Lewis and Amazon.

The dealership will be rebranded as Vantage Skoda later this year and will undergo "significant redevelopment" to reflect the manufacturer’s new corporate identity. All staff are being retained. David Ian Ltd has been in business since 1993.

Mark Robinson (pictured), Vantage Motor Group managing director, said: “The Skoda brand has gone from strength to strength and its increasing appeal in the eyes of buyers complements the strong values and focus on customer service that are consistent with the Vantage name.”

Heidi Cartledge, the head of customer quality and network development for Skoda UK, said: “Skoda UK is delighted to welcome Vantage into our network.  We believe that there is a great fit between these businesses as we have both enjoyed an exciting period of growth built upon delivering great customer service.  We are also really looking forward to seeing the site in Morecombe when the redevelopment and new Corporate Identity is complete later this year.  This will give customers the perfect environment to experience exciting new products like the What Car, Car of the Year Fabia and the stunning new Superb which arrives in September.”

Vantage was advised by Walker Morris Leeds, Grant Thornton Leeds and Colliers CRE.

The deal was brokered by UHY in Manchester.

Paul Daly, partner at UHY, said: “The deal continues the growth of Vantage with their first acquisition of a VW Group brand. Based on other transactions we are working on at present it appears the sector consolidation will continue strongly through 2015.”

Over the past year Vantage Motor Group’s turnover has grown from £65m to more than £220m. The group employs 500 people and has increased its number of sites from seven in Yorkshire and Lancashire to 21 across the North of England and the West Midlands.

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