JCB Group has added Kia, Citroen, Mitsubishi and SsangYong to its list of franchise partners with the acquisition of the family-owned Hidsons Group.
The acquisition of the £45 million turnover (2016) Hidsons Group operation in North Kent was hailed as “a perfect fit, both culturally and geographically” and add a further six dealerships to the group and takes the number of franchise partners to nine.
The acquired locations in Northfleet and Rainham compliments the prime locations already held in Ashford, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Crawley, Worthing, Brighton and Eastbourne.
JCB Group managing director, Jonathan Bischoff, said: “We are delighted to have acquired this respected and long established family business and look forward to the challenges of extending our business. Key attractions for us are the cultural fit and more choice for our customers.
“Hidsons Group have remained successful dealers for 65 years due to its ongoing philosophy of offering the highest quality and service to their customers.
“This fits well with the JCB Group and while we’ve grown hugely over the years, as a family-owned business ourselves, the focus has always been on looking after our customers and offering reliable vehicles which are value-for-money, as well as offering a localised, personalised service and approachable and knowledgeable staff.
“We are committed to preserving and nurturing this culture as well as putting in place new initiatives which allows the Hidsons sites to benefit from our larger scale and investments we have made.
“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of the employees of Hidsons to the wider JCB Group family and look forward to the group developing its increasing driving force within the motoring industry.”
Hidsons managing director, Nigel Hidson, said: “Obviously, it’s not without some regrets that we are closing the book on so many years of history by selling our business to the JCB Group and it’s not a step that’s been taken lightly.
“However, we are confident that our sale to JCB Group will continue both our business ethos and at the same time protect the interests of our staff. In these circumstances, therefore, it’s a step that we are pleased to take.”
JCB Group sold in excess of 120,000 vehicles in 2017 from a network featuring Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, Honda and Fiat franchises, alongside Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VW CV).
In its last published accounts - to December 31, 2016 - the retail group recorded a turnover of £115.5 million, resulting in a profit before tax of £1.3 million.
The independently-owned JCB Group now employs over 500 staff throughout Kent and Sussex.