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Ridgeway's O'Hanlon returns with acquisition of Volvo Reading dealership

John O'Hanlon

Former Ridgeway chief executive John O’Hanlon has launched a new dealer venture, Waylands Automotive, with a takeover of Volvo Reading franchise from Jardine Motors.

It marks O’Hanlon’s return to running dealerships after the sale of Ridgeway Group to Marshall Motor Holdings for £106.9 million in May 2016.

It also marks Jardine's end in representing the Volvo brand.

After the sale, O'Hanlon told AM he would be back when the opportunity arose. In October 2016 he became a director of John Clark Motor Group, according to Companies House.

Volvo Reading has relocated to a temporary home near its original Rose Kiln Lane site while the dealership is redeveloped to the Swedish brand's current VRE (Volvo Retail Experience) showroom style.

The new site is due to open in summer 2018.

Volvo says VRE is designed to improve flexibility and remove some of the perceived barriers between dealers and their customers. 

O’Hanlon said the combination of the vibrant Volvo brand and the dynamic Reading economy was too good an opportunity to resist.

"Our primary aims will be to deliver class leading service for our customers and a fantastic place to work for our teams,” he added.

Volvo Car UK managing director Jon Wakefield said: “This investment in a fabulous new facility is a sign of the importance Volvo Car UK places on Reading and the surrounding area. This purpose-built site will be the perfect place for customers to experience the Volvo brand and our incredible new range of cars. I am delighted to welcome John O’Hanlon back to the motor trade with Volvo at the centre of his business.”

James Cox has already been appointed as sales manager ahead of the major new build, and he will oversee operations from the dealership’s temporary home, including undertaking a recruitment drive in advance of the new facility’s completion.

Mark Dooler has been appointed as aftersales manager for the new operations.  He has over 15 years experience within motor retail with a number of premium brands and has previously worked with the teams at Reading Volvo.

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