Vertu Motors has appointed former Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Porsche and Toyota man Andy Goss as its new non-executive chairman following the departure of Peter Jones.
Goss has been a non-executive director at the AM100’s fifth-placed franchised retail group since September 2018 but has been elevated to his new post with effect from July 25.
Vertu said in a statement that Goss’s appointment had followed “an extensive recruitment process”.
Goss has considerable experience in the automotive sector including a posting as sales director at Toyota GB, the chief executive of Porsche Car GB and in a series of roles at JLR.
Immediately prior to joining Vertu last year, he had held the post of group sales director and a member of the board at JLR.
Goss said: "I am very excited to be leading the Board in what promises to be a fascinating period in the sector in the next few years.
“With its strong balance sheet, best in class systems and processes and strong and stable management team, Vertu is well positioned to benefit from the challenges and opportunities in the motor retail market.
“I look forward to supporting the Group to continue to strengthen its relationships with its manufacturer partners.”
Goss said that following his appointment and Jones’ departure he would keep the board structure at Vertu under review.
Praising Jones’ contribution to the business, he added: “I have known Peter for many years and his retirement marks the end of over 40 years in the sector.
“He has left his positive mark on both the automotive PLCs he has led and the people he has encountered."
Jones said: "Having had over four years as chairman of the Group, I am delighted with this appointment and am confident that Andy's insight and energy will provide great leadership to the Board alongside Robert and the team. I am leaving the Board in good hands."
On the same day that Jones announced his retirement from the Vertu board, in May, the group revealed a set of annual financial results detailing an 16.8% decline in profit before tax to £25.3 million (2018: £30.4m).
Jones described the group's 2018 financial performance as “a credible result”, however, instead highlighting its cash generation during the 12 month period to December 31, 2018, and its continued ability to grow its scale in a shrinking market to deliver greater market share.
Turnover in the period grew by £186m (6.7%) to £2.98 billion, the group said in its statement, but shirinking margins from new car sales and a decline in Motability, fleet and commercial sales impacted the overall performance.
Jones said: “The automotive retail sector faced a number of challenges in the year to 28 February 2019 including disruption to new vehicle supply, driven by a weaker pound and EU Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) regulations, political uncertainty impacting consumer confidence and significant cost pressures.
“Despite this, the Group delivered a credible result in profit terms and very strong cash generation."