AM Online

Stoneacre Motor Group completes Mill Garages Northeast Ltd acquisition

Mill Garages Volvo Newcastle

Stoneacre Motor Group is set to achieve its ambition of becoming a £1 billion turnover car retail group early following the acquisition of four Mill Garages Northeast Ltd Volvo dealerships.

The AM100’s 17th-placed retail group – having risen from 25th in 2017 – had set the benchmark sales objective as a target for 2020, but chairman, Richard Teatum, now expects the Thorne-based operation to achieve its goal a year early.

Stoneacre completed the Mill Garages deal on October 1, adding a fourth acquisition of 2018 and Volvo franchised sites in Harrogate, Newcastle, Stockton and Sunderland to add to its existing sites with the Swedish brand in Chesterfield, Grimsby, Lincoln and Sheffield.

Stoneacre managing director, Shaun Foweather, said: “We are delighted that the Directors and senior managers of Volvo Cars Ltd have chosen our company to develop our partnership further with this very important acquisition.

“Having just built a brand new Volvo dealership in Chesterfield which will follow shortly with another brand new Volvo dealership on Penistone Road Sheffield it is our intention to invest further in this great franchise to ensure that all of our Volvo operations are in the most suitable place to sell to a growing customer base and deliver outstanding customer service.

“Volvo have already delivered some exciting new product with much more to come, with increased desirability comes increased sales and Stoneacre will be ready to maximize on the new opportunities from the emerging market.”

Mill Garages has represented the Volvo franchise since 1965 and Mill Garages Northeast Ltd was founded in 2008 by Bill Ward and Bob Nicholson.

Ward transfers to Stoneacre to head up the enlarged Volvo operations alongside operations director Jeff Tabb and finance director Simon Hewitson.

Ward said: “We are very proud of the progress made with the Mill brand to date with the assistance of our Volvo partner but with the growing popularity of Volvo, further substantial investment is required and we felt that Stoneacre were the most suitable partner to achieve this.

“Jeff, Simon and I have had very positive discussions with the Stoneacre board and we are very much looking forward to working together to ensure that we continue to provide great cars and great service to the customers at our eight Volvo branches”

Welcoming the Mill Garages director into the Stoneacre business, Foweather said: “I would like to welcome Bill, Jeff, Simon and their team to the Stoneacre family, we intend to provide full head office support, training through the Stoneacre Training Academy and full integration into the Stoneacre Culture to ensure that customer satisfaction is further enhanced under the Stoneacre brand.”

Stoneacre kicked off its 2018 acquisitions with a move for Nottingham’s Chris Variava dealership complex in January and a deal to secure Burrows Motor Company's Hyundai and Fiat franchises in Sheffield a month later.

The Chris Variava business included Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Alfa Romeo and Jeep franchises at one location.

The acquisition of the Burrows businesses saw the group double its representation with the South Korean brand and take its number of Fiat sites to 16, meanwhile.

In March Stoneacre also acquired Platts Garage’s multi-franchise – Fiat, Renault, Dacia and Kia – site in Stafford.

The group now represents 22 franchises in 93 locations at 47 branches as well, not including two Harley Davidson and one Triumph franchise in 11 counties and North Wales.

Stoneacre told AM that it remains acquisitive and would discuss any franchise opportunity with either dealer groups, owner drivers, stakeholders, existing or potential franchise partners.

For an initial informal discussion, contact Philip Wade, franchise and development director, on 0776 733 1332 or email

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