The Trade Centre Group is having a board reshuffle with chief executive Andy Coulthurst becoming chairman.
He will be replaced in the role of CEO by chief financial officer Tim Carr, while current chairman and founder Mark Bailey is to become vice-chairman.
The changes within the top independent car retailer are due to come into effect on April 1, ahead of showrooms reopening in England 11 days later.
Coulthurst said: “The company have been supportive in allowing me to move to a more flexible working arrangement. I will continue to lead the strategy around sales and marketing and retain my key supplier relationships.
‘Tim is the ideal CEO candidate and has already added immense value in the time he has been with the business. His appointment is well timed as we prepare for another stage of significant growth.’
It follows a 39-year career in automotive for Coulthurst, during which he led sales and marketing for JCT600 and significantly scaled up car classifieds network Motors.co.uk for Cox Automotive ahead of its sale to eBay.
Trade Centre Group – which he joined in 2015 – was the highest-placed non-franchised retailer in our inaugural Top 100 list of the most profitable car dealers, coming seventh overall.
It generated EBITDA profit of £25.1m in 2019 from revenue of £256m, which equated to an impressive return on sales of 8.3 per cent – the best margin on our entire list.
Carr, who has been with the company since 2018, said: ‘I’m delighted to take on the role and look forward to the next phase of the Trade Centre Group’s development.
‘After the challenges of the last year, we have exciting plans for 2021 and beyond.
‘Our staff have shown great resilience and flexibility during the pandemic and I’m thrilled to be welcoming them back to work soon to deliver our exceptional service to even more customers in the future.’
His replacement as chief financial officer is yet to be appointed.
The privately owned and family-run Trade Centre Group began life in Wales in 1999 then branched out into England.
It has car supermarkets in Neath, Abercynon, Merthyr Tydfil, Wednesbury, Coventry and Rochdale, and will be opening a seventh branch in Rotherham.
Bailey said: ‘Tim is very well placed to step into the CEO role as we look forward to opening our Rotherham store and announcing further expansion soon. Andy will be a great asset as chairman.
‘Our chief operating officer Andy Wildy, who has been by my side since the start, and Nathan Bailey, our director of vehicle purchasing and disposal, will continue to drive the sales performance of the business.’
Mark and Nathan Bailey are uncle and nephew.
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