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Arnold Clark to ditch Harry Fairbairn name as it unites group brand across franchises

  • End of an era as Arnold Clark BMW and Mini to launch in July 2022
  • Harry Fairbairn name is being retired 16 years after it was bought by group
  • Boss says uniting franchises will help customers
  • Reassurance given that nothing is changing other than name above door

Time 8:04 am, June 20, 2022

Arnold Clark is to drop the Harry Fairbairn name as it seeks to unify the group brand across its franchises.

The UK’s most profitable dealership bought Harry Fairbairn in 2006, adding BMW and Mini to its franchise portfolio.

Originally a small cycling and motorbike business when it launched in 1952, Harry Fairbairn opened its first BMW dealership in Irvine in 1971.


The newly relaunched Mini franchise joined the business in 2001, and there are now nine BMW/Mini branches across the Arnold Clark Group, with sites in Glasgow, Dumfries, Inverness, Irvine and Kirkcaldy, pictured.

Arnold Clark BMW and Mini will launch next month as the Harry Fairbairn name is retired.

Eddie Hawthorne, Arnold Clark CEO and group MD, said: ‘Harry Fairbairn joined the Arnold Clark Group 16 years ago, adding their BMW and Mini knowledge and expertise.

‘With the digital journey becoming increasingly important, uniting our franchises under a single name allows us to give our customers the best possible experience across every space.


‘Arnold Clark is a national brand and one that people can trust, so as we move to the future, it helps our customers understand the diverse range of franchises we have to offer, particularly in the premium market.’

Meanwhile, the group is set to open a new showpiece BMW/Mini showroom in Glasgow’s Hillington Park this autumn.

The nine-acre site, near Arnold Clark’s flagship Renault/Dacia/Alpine branch and head office, will boast a 5,600 square metre branch, displaying 45 prestige BMW and Mini vehicles across two levels.

Mock-up of new flagship Arnold Clark BMW/Mini showroom at Hillington Park

A mock-up of the forthcoming Arnold Clark BMW/Mini showroom at Hillington Park

Another 150 Approved Used vehicles will be on show on the forecourt, and there will also be a 28-bay workshop specialising in servicing BMW’s motorsport-inspired M range.

Callum Rankin, Arnold Clark BMW and Mini franchise manager, said: ‘We’ve been delighted to offer a specialist service to our BMW and Mini customers for more than 16 years.

‘Our expert sales employees and technicians have the knowledge and experience to offer advice and service of the highest level.

‘For our existing customers, nothing is changing other than the name above the door.

‘Arnold Clark has worked closely with BMW and Mini for a number of years, and as we enter this new era, we’ll continue to deliver a premium experience.

‘The rebrand will allow us to provide customers with complete transparency and simplicity by better aligning our physical and digital channels.’

Arnold Clark was founded in 1954 and now has 200 branches across the UK.

You can watch our interview with Hawthorne about the firm’s record profits at the top of this story.

Image via Google Street View

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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