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Marshall's car manufacturer partners back Constellation Automotive leadership

Marshall signage at a JLR Arch Concept dealership

Marshall Motor Group’s car manufacturer franchise partners have given their backing to the AM100 retail group’s new Constellation Automotive leadership team.

BCA and cinch owner Constellation Automotive Group received the regulatory approvals required from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to complete its acquisition of Marshall Motor Holdings last month – sparking a changing of the guard in the Marshall board.

And after chief executive Daksh Gupta left the business with immediate effect just a fortnight later one former OEM boss told AM that the series of sweeping changes could trigger an automatic, two-year termination period with certain franchises, a situation that a Constellation Automotive spokesperson denied.

Key franchise partners have now told AM that they have no intention of jeopardising their relationship with Marshall Motor Group as it transitions to the ownership of BCA, cinch and Webuyanycar owner Constellation Automotive.

Mercedes-Benz UK chief executive Gary Savage told AM: “While we have a policy of not commenting on the specifics of contracts in place between us and our partners, it is always at our discretion whether or not we wish to exercise our termination rights. 

“In relation to Constellation, Mercedes-Benz Cars is delighted to be working with their new leadership team since the acquisition of Marshall Motor Group. We are aligned with Constellation and encouraged to see the direction in which they plan to take the Mercedes-Benz partnership.”

A spokesperson for Volvo Car UK asserted that a change in leadership would not trigger any standard procedure to terminate, but added: “We are actively engaging with Constellation over the future of our relationship.”

A BMW UK spokesperson said: “The change of ownership of Marshall Motor Group has made no change to the regular BMW retailer contract cycle; this will be reviewed along with the rest of the network on the standard timeframe.

“The suggestion that a two-year termination notice has been issued is incorrect.”

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said in a short statement issued to AM that “Marshalls continue to be a valued and strategic franchise partner for JLR”.

The Volkswagen Group, which counts Marshall as its biggest UK franchise partner, declined comment on the future of its relationship with Marshall Motor Group, along with rival OEM giant Stellantis.

However, the Stellantis spokesperson added: “All of our retailer agreements have been terminated effective June 2023 as we plan and agree new contractual arrangements.”

Former AM Awards Business Leader of the Year Daksh Gupta said that the “time is now right for me to explore new opportunities”, after the announcement of his Marshall departure on May 25.

Gupta spent 14 years at the Cambridge-based retailer, guiding it through its public offering to become a PLC and overseeing a period which has brought about the acquisition of 224 car retail businesses, a near-10 fold rise in headcount and revenues soar from £300 million to almost £4 billion.

Reflecting on the highlights of his time with the business, he said: “What’s been achieved with the team has been amazing.”

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