Cox Automotive enters vehicle services market after buying C Walton Ltd

Time 4:31 pm, March 5, 2020

COX Automotive UK has bought C Walton Ltd – one of the UK’s key providers of vehicle services for manufacturers, fleet operators, dealers and daily rental companies.

As part of the deal, which was announced this afternoon and was for an undisclosed sum, Cox has acquired the company’s vehicle services business, which operates from sites in Bruntingthorpe, Wyton and Long Bennington. It also includes C Walton’s proving ground and events businesses.

C Walton Ltd (CWL) offers an extensive range of fleet management and vehicle services on a mass scale, including new and used car vehicle preparation, as well as reconditioning, defleet services including inspections and MOT, logistics and storage, plus a range of in-life services for cars, vans and trucks and full support for electric vehicle handling.

The acquisition – Cox Automotive UK’s biggest single such deal – will significantly increase both the scale and scope of whole-life vehicle services that it can offer new clients to support physical and online auction programmes, it said.

Martin Forbes, chief executive at Cox Automotive UK, said: ‘Although we provide some vehicle services to support existing customers with their remarketing and defleet strategies, we have wanted to significantly increase the range and scope of whole-life vehicle services available to new clients for some time.

Martin Forbes, left, and John Walton

‘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 to 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.’

Up to 200,000 vehicles a year are processed by CWL at its Bruntingthorpe site, pictured at top, and it provides secure storage for more than 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.

Over the past decade, CWL has seen its business grow in the vehicle services market, becoming one of the market leaders in the field.

Forbes added: ‘The used vehicle market in the UK is rapidly changing. We are responding by transforming our business to meet the needs of a changing wholesale and retail marketplace.’

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.’

Forbes said: ‘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. This acquisition will undoubtedly transform our business!’

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