Smiths, a third-generation family business has almost 80 years of trading history, around Peterborough and Ilkeston, with several franchises including Nissan, Renault, Vauxhall, Hyundai and Dacia all based at its Cambridgeshire site.
Daniel Fitzjohn, managing director of Smiths, said: “Joining the RAA was a big consideration for us and we looked at every programme in detail to understand the upside of the savings and the potential consequences of changing some of our suppliers but the answer was clear to me; the overall benefit of RAA membership was too significant to ignore.
“Also, it’s not just the commercial advantage of the RAA, I value the opportunity to meet the other members to share ideas and improve our own business as a result.”
The RAA said the ROI for each member has been significant after another year of growth in 2019, with increased rebate levels.
The joint venture purchasing group continues to deliver savings to its members, and now Smiths will hope to benefit from such savings, as well as its share in the business.
The group’s members employ 7,000 staff and sell 200,000 new and used cars each year.
John Matthews, director of the RAA, said: “2019 has seen much higher levels of interest from dealer groups across the country interested in becoming an RAA member because the pressure on their margins has never been higher.
“The savings we deliver are game changing for every business we meet because RAA deals give plc buying power to medium sized and often family run dealer groups.
“As well as large scale cost reduction for members, the suppliers we partner with also get the benefit of long-term volume security as we run a minimum 3-year contract term.”
The RAA continues to reduce dealership running costs considerably through a range of agreements with major suppliers from vehicle finance and auction, to number plates and oil as well as non-vehicle related programmes such as health care and utilities.