Dealer group Charles Hurst to add Cupra to portfolio with new £2m dealership

  • New Seat and Cupra showroom to open in Belfast later this year
  • Dealership represents a £2m investment by Charles Hurst Group
  • Cupra joins portfolio which includes brands from Aston Martin to Vauxhall

Time 6:30 am, August 19, 2023

Dealer group Charles Hurst is investing £2m in a brand new dealership and is welcoming Cupra to its portfolio.

The Lookers-owned business will open a new Seat and Cupra showroom at its Belfast automotive park later this year, and is on the hunt to fill 26 job roles.

Charles Hurst Group operates eight showrooms in Northern Ireland and two in the Republic of Ireland. It represents over 20 brands from Aston Martin to Vauxhall, including the two new Chinese challenger brands, Ora UK and BYD.

Despite its wide coverage the company has never held a Cupra franchise, but the new showroom will change that.

Confirming the investment, Charles Hurst Group operations director Jeff McCartney said: ‘Committed to growth and delivering an unrivalled choice for our customers in Northern Ireland, we’re delighted to be expanding our brand portfolio and introducing the groundbreaking Cupra hybrid and all-electric vehicles to meet fast-growing local demand for cutting-edge, sustainable and innovative driving options.’

He added: ‘Since the start of this year, we’ve invested around £8macross our dealership estate, increasing choice and creating new jobs as part of an ambitious strategy to drive new growth and success, as we look toward an all-electric driving future.’

Cupra, Seat’s premium performance sister brand, has grown quickly in the UK since its launch in 2018.

Sales jumped by almost 90 per cent last year, with 14,383 units registered in the UK compared to 7,584 in 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.

It has already sold 200,000 models worldwide and plans to add another three EVs by 2025.

Lookers’ chief operating officer, Duncan McPhee, said: ‘Right across the group and in every region, we are rapidly accelerating our journey towards all-electric driving that accurately matches the needs of our customers who are keen to embrace a more sustainable future by delivering unrivalled choice, information and advice for every step of the way.

‘We’re proud that in Northern Ireland, Charles Hurst continues to charge ahead as the market leader in this vitally important area.’

The investment in the Seat and Cupra dealership joins others including a £2.2m investment in a new Toyota showroom, around £1m to refurbish and relaunch two Nissan dealerships in Belfast and Newtownards, and £3m in a significant redevelopment of its parts centre on Boucher Road, Belfast.

It is also advancing plans to launch Northern Ireland’s only Lotus dealership after striking an agreement with the premium sports car maker last year.

Lotus is added to an existing collection of premium brand partners of the Charles Hurst business which already includes Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley and Aston Martin.

Picture: CGI image of a Cupra showroom

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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