DM Keith bosses outside dealershipDM Keith bosses outside dealership


D.M. Keith snaps up Suzuki heavyweight dealer group Colin Appleyard

  • D.M Keith has acquired Colin Appleyard Limited for an undisclosed sum
  • It sees Suzuki being added to D.M. Keith’s portfolio for the first time
  • Colin Appleyard is one of Suzuki’s most successful dealer groups

Time 8:13 am, February 15, 2024

Dealer group D.M. Keith has started a new relationship with Suzuki after snapping up one of its longest running partners – Colin Appleyard Limited.

Leeds-based family firm D.M Keith currently operates franchises with Skoda, Cupra, Seat, Honda, Ford, Kia and BYD, and has showrooms across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The acquisition of Colin Appleyard, another family-run firm, is expected to supercharge the company’s plans to turnover in excess of £300m in 2024.

It will see D.M. Keith gain a ‘scaled entry point’ with Suzuki, a Nissan authorised repair business and two Subaru showrooms, growing its portfolio from 15 business across 10 sites to 19 businesses across 14 sites.

D.M Keith has been steadily growing over the past decade, most recently acquiring Ringways Ford and Kia in Leeds in 2021.

Dougal Keith, managing director of D.M. Keith said: ‘We have been growing steadily over the last few years as part of our vision of being in the top 50 motor groups.

‘Now with the Ringways acquisition now well bedded in, the acquisition of Colin Appleyard comes at a perfect time, allowing us to expand further within the territory and gives us a scaled entry point with Suzuki.’

He added: ‘My senior leadership team and I have been considering other brands for some time now and Suzuki has been one we have seriously considered having seen its success and growth.

‘We are very excited about the future and look forward to welcoming the Colin Appleyard team into the D.M. Keith Group.’

The Colin Appleyard team, pictured in 2020

Colin Appleyard is one of Suzuki’s leading dealers in the UK.

It has sites in Ashton-under-Lyne, Bradford, Huddersfield and Keighley, and was founded in 1970 by the late Colin Appleyard.

In 2020, at the time of the firm’s 50th anniversary, boss Robin Appleyard told Car Dealer about how ‘family vales’ helped steer the business through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the acquisition, Robin Appleyard said: ‘The business has been a huge part of our family all my life and I have enjoyed every minute and worked with some fantastic people.

‘Both my sons have successful careers of their own, so with no succession and seeing the continued consolidation the time was right for me to step back.

‘We are delighted to have agreed a deal with D.M. Keith who hold many similar values to us as a business.

‘I’d like to thank the Colin Appleyard team and Suzuki who have always been great to work alongside and am confident they will continue to be very successful – I wish Dougal, Angus and the team all the best in the future.’

The deal was managed by David Kendrick and his automotive team at UHY Hacker Young who represented Colin Appleyard with the sale.

Kendrick said: ‘Colin Appleyard is one of the most successful and largest Suzuki dealer groups in the UK. They have an amazing brand and reputation, and it makes absolute sense for D.M. Keith to add this business to their growing portfolio.

‘I have no doubt the business will continue to grow and flourish as part of a bigger group as well as giving Robin and the shareholders a well-earned retirement.

‘It certainly won’t be the last deal of the year, never have I seen so much activity in my 20 years of automotive M&A.’

Picture top: D.M. Keith bosses outside one of its Skoda showrooms; MD Dougal Keith pictured right 

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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