Jardine Sevenoaks-FerrariServiceCentreandFerrariApprovedShowroom01Jardine Sevenoaks-FerrariServiceCentreandFerrariApprovedShowroom01


Lithia looking for acquisition targets for Jardine as US firm takes reins of luxury car dealer group

  • Jardine says it is actively looking to grow through acquisitions after Lithia buy-out
  • US dealer group snapped up the firm for £300m in March this year
  • Latest company accounts show the dealer group made £31m profit in 2022

Time 11:42 am, July 10, 2023

Jardine Motors Group says it is ‘actively seeking new acquisition targets’ in the UK after its takeover by American car dealer supergroup Lithia.

The US giants swept on Jardine in a £300m deal in March after a failed bid to buy listed car dealer group Pendragon last summer.

Lithia was blocked from buying Pendragon by Hedin, one of its largest shareholders, which in turn launched its own aborted bid to buy the group.

Jilted, Lithia instead turned its attention to 50-dealership group Jardine – which represents luxury brands including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren and Porsche.

In its accounts for 2022, Jardine said that following the change in control of the company on March 15, the group is now looking to expand.

The firm said: ‘The group’s operational focus is to continue to grow with its selected premium and luxury franchise partners whether organically or through acquisition where real value opportunities arise. 

‘A key part of this growth plan is through customer and employee retention and continued investment in delivering an exceptional customer retail experience.

‘[The group will] actively seek acquisition targets within the UK with both existing and new franchise partners.’

The accounts for Jardine show the firm made £31m profit before tax last year – an increase on the £28.3m it made in 2021.

Turnover rose to £1.63bn, up from £1.54bn the year before. The firm said its return on sales rose from 1.8 per cent in 2021 to 1.9 per cent in 2022.

Last year, Jardine was the 10th most profitable group in the Car Dealer Top 100 list of most profitable dealers.

The rises in revenue and profit came despite new car sales falling 17 per cent and used car sales dropping 15 per cent in 2022. In total the group sold 18,693 new cars (2021: 22,557) and 18,624 used cars (2021: 21,998).

The group generated £718m from new car sales, £805m from used car sales and £137m from aftersales. In the new and used car sales figures is £22m of finance commission.

The firm said its results in the first quarter of 2023 have ‘remained strong’ and are ‘in line with budget expectations’. 

‘It is anticipated that supply will continue to recover and whilst this may have some impact on new and used car sales margins these should be compensated by higher sales volumes of new cars on the back of continued pent-up demand and strong order banks,’ added Jardine.

During the year the group closed its Aston Martin dealership in Cambridge, a used car centre in Towcester and a bodyshop in Witham.

The Aston Martin dealership closure has enabled the group to redevelop the site into a solus Porsche centre.

As of the end of 2022, the firm had 2,700 employees – a drop of just nine on the year before. The highest paid director received £960k emoluments during the year.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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