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Sherwoods targets growth with Stellantis after Town Centre acquisition

Done deal (from left): Sherwoods Motor Group chairman Chris Elvidge with MD Simon MacConachie and former Town Centre Automobiles owner Steve Smith

Sherwoods Motor Group has targeted further growth with Stellantis after it added a second Citroen franchise through the acquisition of Sunderland car retailer Town Centre Automobiles.

The acquisition comes less than a year after Sherwoods was named as Citroën UK Retailer of the Year 2020, following the success of its Gateshead franchise in a COVID-impacted year of car sales.

And the Peugeot Citroen, Suzuki and Isuzu franchisee’s chairman, former Drive Motor Retail managing director Chris Elvidge, said that the group would now “endeavour to grow” further with the car manufacturing giant.

“It’s great to announce that due to the success of the existing Sherwood’s businesses, we have been able to Invest in on our second Citroen franchise,” said Elvidge.

“The addition of another high achieving, adjacent family-owned business to the Sherwood’s family is extremely exciting and will enhance the performance of the group going forward.

“The acquisition brings a further 26 colleagues, who we welcome into the Sherwoods family bringing the total to 161.

“This acquisition also strengthens our relationship with the Stellantis group with whom we endeavour to grow further in the coming years.”

Sherwoods managing director, Simon MacConachie, hailed the acquisition of the Town Centre operation from former owner Steve Smith as a coming together of two family-run car retail groups with shared values.

MacConachie said “We are really excited to bring Town Centre and its great team of colleagues under the wing of Sherwoods.

“The team here do a great job looking after their customers which is why the business has such a great reputation for customer service.

“The core values of Sherwoods of great customer service and great value for customers are exactly the same as Town Centre Automobiles.

“We also hope to grow the business and offer even more choice to the customers and car buying public of Sunderland.”

Smith said. “Sherwoods Motor Group share the same family business values, as Town Centre.

"It was really important to me, my staff and our fantastically loyal customers that Town Centre’s values would continue with the new owner.

“I needed to know that our award-winning customer service, a service we have prided ourselves on for over 40 years, would continue on."

“I know with Simon, Chris and the Sherwoods team this is assured, Simon and Chris’s decision to keep the Town Centre name is really significant as it shows that whilst the ownership has changed, the same friendly faces and that unique service will be no different than it was before.”

The £66.3 million (2020) turnover Sherwoods Group sold its Vauxhall businesses in Darlington, Stockton and Northallerton to Drive Motor Retail in 2018 following an offer its directors described as “too good to turn down”.

Speaking at the time, MacConachie said the Sherwoods brand would continue because the deal means investments can be made in other businesses and talks are ongoing with several potential partners.

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