Pictured are (back row from left) Jim Mackenzie, Jamie Dunlop, Douglas Laird and Linda MacPhee, with Fraser Bryce at frontPictured are (back row from left) Jim Mackenzie, Jamie Dunlop, Douglas Laird and Linda MacPhee, with Fraser Bryce at front


Ambitious growth plans revealed as Dicksons of Inverness completes management buy-out

  • Multi-million-pound management buy-out is sealed
  • Dicksons of Inverness now aims to double turnover to £100m within five years
  • Plan is for staff roll to increase from 80-plus to 100 as well

Time 11:59 am, April 2, 2024

Dicksons of Inverness has completed a multi-million-pound management buy-out – with the aim of doubling turnover to £100m before 2030.

The motor group’s new five-strong board of directors also forecasts staffing levels reaching 100 in that timeframe.

The buy-out has been in the offing for some time and the company – founded in Perth by Tommy Dickson in 1957, running dealerships from Dunblane to Forres – welcomed Linda MacPhee, Jamie Dunlop and Douglas Laird to the board in late 2022 as it prepared for the next step.

Alistair Scrimgeour joined the group in the 1970s and along with colleague Hugh Bryce led it through various franchise appointments and acquisitions.

Scrimgeour and colleague Jimmy Gibson then bought the Forres business from the Dickson family to form Dicksons of Forres in the late 1980s.

Jim Mackenzie moved to Inverness in the 1990s as Honda sales manager and became sales director of the Dicksons group in 2008, while Hugh’s son Fraser became managing director in 2018 and began to plan the firm’s growth strategy with his fellow directors.

Fraser said: ‘Ally, Jimmy and Hugh have been the backbone of Dicksons for over three decades.

‘Over the past five years, we have achieved huge milestones, including adding the MG brand, purchasing Duncans and RM Browns, giving us five dealerships, and creating our very own new brand, Carzar.

‘We launched Dicksons Parts Direct, adding Peugeot, Citroen, DS and many other parts manufacturers, making Dicksons the biggest privately owned genuine parts supplier in the Highlands.’

The company is also looking to help younger drivers – it launched its £1m Carzar showroom last year, with the aim of making cars more affordable for young people, and in February this year, it chose 12 young drivers to put through their driving lessons and tests.

‘We have increased our workshop capacity from 12 to 21 ramps and our sales team now sells over 2,000 cars a year,’ added Bryce.

‘We also employ more than 80 people across 30 different roles.

“Our four franchised brands of Nissan, Suzuki, MG and Kia give us a fantastic depth of choice to offer, and I would have no hesitation in saying we have the best franchises offering our customers the best choice in the Highlands.’

The buy-out by MacPhee, Bryce, Mackenzie, Dunlop and Laird was completed on March 15, and Bryce said today: ‘Although this is a significant event for the company, it cements our plans to remain in private ownership while expanding further across the Highlands automotive landscape.

‘Hugh Bryce will continue to assist the board.’

Following the sale, Scrimgeour announced his retirement.

The group currently turns over about £50m, but Bryce said it planned to double this before 2030.

‘We have a five-year strategy to grow to 100 staff and a £100m turnover, with additional premises already selected to house the additional sites.’

Pictured at top are (back row from left) Jim Mackenzie, Jamie Dunlop, Douglas Laird and Linda MacPhee, with Fraser Bryce at front

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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