Paragon, the vehicle services company, is injecting £4.7 million into the business over the next 12 months to build its capacity and support its growth plans in the de-fleet and remarketing sectors.
The investment will expand capacity at its port operations across the UK. The investment takes into account the anticipated additional storage requirements and operational capacity required to process vehicles due to the continued success with the UK’s car market.
It will also fund further investment in new technology that Paragon says will speed up its de-fleet process.
Ian Carlisle, chief executive officer of Paragon, said: “The automotive sector led the recovery and is showing all the signs of sustained growth.
“But with car sales continuing to accelerate, pressure is building throughout the supply chain. The industry is facing some big challenges and we believe new technology, coupled with fresh thinking, can deliver a step change in efficiency.”
Carlisle said the investment would also be used to create more capacity and recruit new staff.
He said: “From workshop operatives to drivers, it is important that the motor industry raises its game to attract young talent, and encourage people who left the sector to return. There is clear evidence of skills shortages across the UK and this will hold back growth in the long term.”
Paragon is recruiting in all areas of the business but faces pressure on drivers, people with technical skills and strategic managers, who Carlisle says are key to enabling the sector to continue to grow.
The company has launched an apprenticeship scheme to bring new talent into the industry and is rolling out a development program to give its middle and junior managers the skills to become future leaders. It has also developed a local school initiative to promote awareness of Paragon and a career in the automotive industry.