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Eden Motor Group boss sticks to 'market area' ambition despite five rapid acquisitions

Graeme Potts

Eden Motor Group’s recent acquisition activity has added five dealerships to its portfolio in as many weeks, but managing director Graeme Potts said the business is not looking to become a 'super group'.

The company is currently in 67th place in the AM100 with £195 million turnover but the latest acquisitions will boost Eden up the rankings to 44th position with turnover increasing up to £300m before the end of this year with 18 sites in total.

Vauxhall-specialist Eden acquired Wokingham Motors in December last year for an undisclosed sum. It gave Eden its first Peugeot franchise, as well the Vauxhall and Renault approved repairer franchises.

Potts (pictured) said: “Wokingham was a great business right in the Thames Valley region, so it was a good fit.”

It just so happened that Skurrays, a fellow Vauxhall franchisee was looking to sell its site in Oxford and Eden’s relationship with the brand made it ripe for acquisition.

Potts said: “Our strategy is to always have a core site in a market area and then have supporting sites, so another opportunity came up to acquire two more Vauxhall sites, one in Banbury and one in Stratford.”

Those Vauxhall dealerships were purchased from Bridge Motors, which had gone into administration.

Potts said four acquisitions in quick succession had increased the management team’s workload, but a fifth acquisition was on the cards with Shires Mazda in Taunton, Somerset. Eden has six Vauxhall sites in the Devon and Dorset market area.

He said: “I really clicked with the owner of Shires Mazda and he kindly agreed to defer completion of the acquisition for another six weeks due to the work load with these other sites.”

The deal will take Eden’s Mazda representation to two as the group already operates a Mazda franchise in Basingstoke.

Potts said: “We have never had ambitions to grow this group to a specific size - that has never been the primary objective.

“I’m very keen to protect our values and the culture we have created here. We have no aspirations to become a mega corporation.

“We want to keep our strong focus on financial returns, great customer experience and an ethos that means staff enjoy working here.

“We’re not on the hunt for more dealerships across the UK. That’s not to say we would never add more beyond 18, but these acquisitions were the right fit for us.”

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