Richmond Motor Group has expanded its Suzuki portfolio after buying the Newmans showroom in Southampton.
The Portsmouth-based group bought the nearby Sparshatts Suzuki site in Fareham last year, and following the Newmans acquisition, which was for an undisclosed sum, Richmond founder and MD Michael Nobes said that strengthening its portfolio with the manufacturer would help to ensure its ‘long-term resilience in our chosen market’.
He added: ‘Despite the issues caused by Covid-19, I am confident things will bounce back. We are encouraged that our dealerships will be opening from June 1 and have been working hard to make our customers safe at all our sites.
‘We have implemented the ability to sell cars online for those customers who do not feel able to come to the showrooms in person. This means that we are ready for a new way of working, protecting our customers and building on our relationship with them for the long term.’
The addition of the Newmans Suzuki site means that Richmond Motor Group now has 14 franchise locations and one used car supermarket, covering an area from south-west London to Portsmouth and Southampton – employing more than 550 people.
It is looking to open four more franchise car dealership sites over the next 18 months.
Newmans MD Guy Foster said: ‘It was not an easy decision to exit the business, particularly after three years of record growth and winning several industry awards.
‘Due to the Covid-19 issue, which was an unknown threat at the time of the deal being agreed, I have committed to stay on in the business unpaid for a number of months to ensure the long-term happiness and stability of the fantastic team here at Newmans whilst integrating with Richmond.’
He added that co-owner Garry Rowles would be taking up a long-term position within Richmond to provide business continuity.
Nobes added: ‘We intend to apply many of the Richmond cutting-edge processes to the Newmans business to leverage profitability and returns, but for the time being it is an extremely healthy business with a great team of people and we intend to leave the business operated by Guy and Garry alone.’
The deal was brokered by MotorVise (Automotive), whose MD Fraser Brown said: ‘I am delighted this acquisition has come to fruition. It’s a transaction I took personally as Guy is such a great person to work with.
‘He was clear to me throughout that the future of his team is the number one issue for him in the sale of this business, and I’m certain this will create stability and promotion opportunities locally for many of the excellent people within the Newmans business.’
- Join our WhatsApp group to get updates sent straight to your phone. Email us via the website here to get a link to join.
- Download the latest digital edition of Car Dealer Magazine Issue 147 for free here