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Heritage Automotive acquires Blade Motor Group and Blade Motorcycles

Heritage Automotive's newly-acquired Volkswagen Gloucester dealership

Heritage Automotive has grown its Volkswagen Group representation and its presence in the motor-cycle sector with the acquisition Blade Motor Group and Blade Motorcycles for an undisclosed sum.

Three Skoda, two Seat and Audi, Volkswagen and Honda dealerships are part of the acquisition which grows the AM100’s 86th-placed, £155 million turnover car franchise group’s influence across Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bristol, Wiltshire and Somerset.

The Blade Motorcycles business, meanwhile, represents Aprilia, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha across locations in Abingdon, Cheltenham, Stratford and Swindon.

Heritage’s growth through acquisition comes just over three years since the acquisition of Heritage Automotive Ltd took place by former Colborne Garages owners Richard Neulaender and John Walsh.

Neulaender said “We are really pleased to be growing our representation with the VWG Brands with additional Audi, Skoda & VW retailers. 

“Whilst at the same time forming new Partnerships with Seat and Honda Cars, plus the many bike manufacturers which we will be representing.”

He added: “Former Blade owner Mike Flanagan was keen that the Blade business stay in private ownership and we are delighted that we’ve been able to help him achieve this”. 

“The Blade group is not only a fantastic strategic and geographical fit for Heritage, but we strongly hope a cultural one also”.

Neulaender and John Walsh have not stood still in the time they have owned the Heritage Group.

June last year also saw the directors returning to the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) brands with the purchase of Cheltenham’s Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships from Pendragon’s Stratstone premium franchise operation.

Paul Hrachovec, Heritage Automotive’s managing director, said: “We are proud to be an independently owned group, with the foundations of our success being the people we choose to work for us, the manufacturers we represent and of course our valuable customers, who are at the very heart of what we do.

“At Heritage, we employ the type of person who wants to win, is brimming with professionalism, integrity and passion, so we together can deliver outstanding levels of customer service and profits.

“Whilst the industry has been in unusual circumstances over the past couple of years this is an exciting time ahead for us and we will continue to look for strategic acquisitions.”

Blade Motor Group's last set of published account, for the period to June 30, 2017, show that the group generated a turnover of £213.9 million and a loss before taxation of £2 million.

In its annual accounts the group blamed the impact of the Brexit vote, the shift away from diesel vehicles and one-off costs related to the adoption of a new DMS along with losses incurred by its discontinued used car and Suzuki franchise businesses.

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