ONE of the longest-established car companies in north-east England has launched a new era with the multi-million-pound acquisitions of two prominent family businesses.
Sherwoods has bought Springfield Motor Group – incorporating Peugeot, Citroen and Suzuki franchises at Gateshead – alongside Durham Peugeot.
The businesses will be rebranded as Sherwoods Gateshead and Sherwoods Durham, with the partners describing the deal as the ‘first chapter’ in the creation of a Sherwoods group of motor dealers across the region.
Sherwoods, which was established as a family business in the 1920s, sold its Vauxhall sites in Darlington, Stockton and Northallerton to the Drive Group last September.
Sherwoods managing director Simon MacConachie promised at the time that the long-established company name would live on with investments in other businesses.
He said today: ‘We are delighted to have fulfilled that pledge by acquiring two cracking businesses with great manufacturing partners in superb locations.’
The deal also includes a large workshop, bodyshop and used car outlet on Washington’s Crowther Industrial Estate, which will be run as a separate business called Sherwoods Car Store.
The combined business expects to have a turnover of £65m a year and secures the jobs of 120 employees.
MacConachie said: ‘This is the first chapter – we would love to work with other brands, and discussions about further opportunities are continuing. We would particularly like to return the Sherwoods name to the south of the region, where we are so well known.
‘This is an exciting time to be involved with Peugeot because they are at a high point in the cycle of their product range, and their attitude towards the dealer network is impressive.’
MacConachie added: ‘Suzuki are renowned for their reliability and the “family feel” they like their customers to experience. This fits perfectly with our family business culture. Citroen has also got some exciting products coming through and we are excited to be working with them for the first time.’
He is joined by three partners: his father Alasdair MacConachie as director and investor, Chris Elvidge as chairman, and Kevin Smith as finance director.
MacConachie senior, who developed the Sherwoods brand over 37 years, said: ‘Selling the Vauxhall business was an extremely emotional time, but I couldn’t be happier at the outcome because the name will live on in some exceptional businesses that share the Sherwoods family values.’
Pictured at top are Simon MacConachie, left, and Alasdair MacConachie at Sherwoods Durham