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Cox Automotive UK acquires Bruntingthorpe operator C Walton Ltd

Cox Automotive UK chief executive, Martin Forbes (left), and John Walton, commercial director of CWL

Cox Automotive UK has completed the acquisition of vehicle services provider and Bruntingthorpe operator C Walton Ltd, expanding its whole-life vehicle services offering with its biggest UK acquisition to date.

The deal sees Cox acquire 100% of the share capital of C Walton Ltd (CWL), including its three locations in Bruntingthorpe (Leicestershire), Wyton (Cambridgeshire) and Long Bennington (Lincolnshire).

A statement issued by the automotive service s and remarketing specialist today (March 5) revealed that the deal also includes CWL’s proving ground and events businesses.

Cox Automotive UK chief executive, Martin Forbes, said that the acquisition would “undoubtedly transform our business”.

He said: “Although we provide some vehicle services to support existing customers with their remarketing and de-fleet strategies, we have wanted to significantly increase the range and scope of whole-life vehicle services available to new clients for some time.

“We have long-admired how CWL operates in this market, growing its business through delivering high quality whole-life vehicle services.

“With the addition of CWL, Cox Automotive UK will now be able offer all aspects of a used car remarketing programme, including vehicle services on a much larger scale, to support both existing and potential new customers.”

John Walton, commercial director of CWL, said: “We are very proud of our heritage as a family-owned, independent business.

“When Cox Automotive approached us to acquire the business a major factor in deciding to sell was that they shared similar values to ours.

“Cox Automotive is also a family-owned company, plus we know many of the Cox Automotive UK and Manheim team as we’ve shared a site together at Bruntingthorpe for years.

“Our experience and expertise naturally complement that of Cox Automotive, and we believe it will be a perfect fit to help the business continue to grow.”

Manheim launched its multi-million pound remarketing centre at Bruntingthorpe back in September 2017 and has had the chance to see first-hand the range of vehicle preparation an storage facilities it has on offer.

CWL’s operations offer an extensive range of fleet management and vehicle services on a mass scale, including new and used car vehicle preparation (wash, valeting, imagery) and reconditioning (Smart and full body shop repairs); de-fleet services including inspections and MOT; logistics and storage; as well as a range of in-life services for cars, vans and trucks plus full support for Electric vehicle handling.

Cox said that its acquisition will “significantly increase both the scale and scope” of its whole-life vehicle services it can offer to support its physical and online auctions.

An aerial view of the Bruntingthorpe facility acquired as part of Cox Automotive UK's acquisition of C Walton LtdUp to 200,000 vehicles a year are processed by CWL at its 670-acre Bruntingthorpe site and it also provides secure storage for over 25,000 vehicles.

CWL invested in a new purpose-built vehicle services facility at the Wyton site in 2019 in response to increased customer demand.

Cox’s statement said: “Over the last decade, CWL has seen its business grow from strength-to-strength in the vehicle services market, becoming one of the market leaders in the field. 

“The company has invested in leading-edge technology and new infrastructure to drive operational efficiency which has helped it establish a reputation for service delivery excellence.”

Forbes acknowledged that the used car sector is “rapidly-changing” in the UK at present and said that Cox was responding by transforming its business.

The launch of Dealer Auction is a great example of how we are leading the market when it comes to digital wholesale and we are also at the forefront of delivering new mobility solutions,” he said. 

Forbes added: “We will take time to get to know and really understand this fantastic business. The talented CWL leadership team and all the employees are integral to its continued success, and I’m looking forward to working alongside them.

“With the backing of an international company like ours, we can ensure that they receive the necessary investment to keep growing and expanding.”

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