Inchcape confirms sale in principle to Vertu Motors of BMW, Mini and Motorrad dealerships and Used Car Centre in York

Time 1:27 pm, November 12, 2020

Dealer group Inchcape has confirmed the sale in principle of BMW, Mini and Motorrad dealerships plus a used car site to Vertu Motors.

Its BMW, Mini and Motorrad showrooms in Durham, Malton, Sunderland, Teeside and York, believed to be under the Cooper brand name, have been snapped up by Vertu, as has Inchcape’s Used Car Centre in York, as Inchcape looks to make its business ‘more efficient and effective’.

A ‘Notice of Portfolio Divestment’ email sent to Inchcape’s suppliers, as seen today (Nov 12) by Car Dealer, acknowledges the sale and outlines the reasons for it.

It confirms Car Dealer’s original story, published on October 15, that Inchcape was looking to sell off BMW, Mini and Motorrad dealerships.

At the time, it was believed Inchcape was looking to dispose of 13 dealerships as it parts company with the German firm, and Vertu and Jardine were circling to buy.

Earlier today, an advert for a BMW divisional aftersales director posted by Vertu hinted the dealer group was getting closer to finalising a deal.

‘Having carried out a structural review of our operations,’ says the Inchcape notice, ‘we have agreed the in-principle sale of our BMW, Mini and Motorrad dealerships in Durham, Malton, Sunderland, Teesside, and York, as well as our Used Car Centre in York, to the Vertu Motors group.

‘The dealerships in North Yorkshire and the North East of England operate as a business unit and whilst we are satisfied with its performance, we are not able to grow adjacently.

‘Therefore, Inchcape hereby give formal written notice of our intention to terminate any ongoing services… (providing there is no extension to the National Lockdown) as of the 4th December 2020.’

Vertu Motors boss Robert Forrester and his team are said to have wanted to add BMW to their portfolio for some time.

He told Car Dealer in October that ‘everything was on the radar’, adding: ‘We are a sizeable group and we maintain good relationships with the manufacturers we haven’t got representation with – because we would be stupid not to.

‘In the fullness of time we would hope to be able to represent different manufacturers, but at the end of the day it is for those manufacturers to determine their franchising strategy and to allow people in.’

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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