Pendragon figured large in AM's most read stories of August 2018. The Number Two AM100 dealer group began the process of retrieving luxury cars and houses from a one-time junior accountant who defrauded Pendragon's sub-brand Evans Halshaw of £2.7 million in a two-and-a-half year fraud. Alan Curry had admitted the fraud and was jailed in December 2017 for six years.
In a separate story in the same month, Pendragon blamed the performance of its faltering UK motor division for a 41.4% fall in underlying pre-tax profits in financial results for the first half of 2018.
In other network news, JCT600 said it was in discussion with potential additions to “fill in the gaps” after losing its retail franchise with BMW in Bradford; Motorline Group added Audi to its list of partners with the acquisition of the Inchcape's East Kent Audi franchise; and Eastern Holdings acquired Volkswagen and Mazda retailer Barnetts Motor Group. However, Halliwell Jones was refused permission to develop a new Wilmslow BMW dealership after planning officials deemed it “detrimental” to a nearby listed building and wildlife.
Marshall Motor Holdings had a good month, with a set of H1 financial results that showed profit before tax from continuing operations up 1.2% at £16.4m.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Police were investigated and warned to carry out more effective ammunition and car checks after staff at a dealership in Crewe accidentally detonated a training grenade left on the back seat of a car used by officers in a training exercise.