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Used car dealer Big Motoring World linked to sale of CarShop sites

  • Sources say Big Motoring World is the party interested in CarShop sites
  • Sytner revealed to Car Dealer yesterday it was making wholesale changes to CarShop brand
  • Firm said some sites would be rebranded, one closed and some sold in shake-up

Time 12:16 pm, May 16, 2024

Sources have linked used car supermarket Big Motoring World with a pre-packaged purchase of some CarShop stores.

Several sources have told Car Dealer that a deal to buy up to four of the CarShop locations is on the cards for the rapidly-expanding Big Group. 

Executive chairman Laurence Vaughan – who has taken over running the group from ousted founder Peter Waddell – is reported to have told staff the group is on the cusp of expanding further.

Vaughan was previously CEO of CarShop-owner Sytner. He was appointed to Big in 2022 and holds a number of non-executive roles. 

Both companies declined to comment when contacted today. 

Yesterday, Car Dealer exclusively revealed CarShop would be drastically shaking up its used car business. It plans to rebrand some stores and close at least one. 

However, the firm also announced it was in advanced talks with one business to sell a number of its used car showrooms. 

A spokesperson for CarShop owner Sytner said: ‘We can confirm that we are in advanced negotiations with an interested party to sell a minority of the CarShop locations as a going concern, as well as potentially closing one location.

‘Our priority, as always, will be to protect as many jobs as possible whilst ensuring that the long-term future success of the business is secured.’

Sources at Big Motoring World Group said staff were under the impression they were the interested party and that the showrooms could transfer to the company shortly. 

A spokesperson for Big gave a ‘no comment’ when contacted by Car Dealer while a spokesperson for Sytner added: ‘We do not comment on speculation.’

Last year, Big bought two Available Cars sites and before that bought SW Car Supermarkets. In the last five years the used car supermarket group has expanded to eight sites, most recently opening a new dealership in Wimbledon.

In March, Big ousted founder Peter Waddell from the group. He has threatened High Court action over his removal from the firm. Waddell still owns two thirds of the group with the remainder held by private equity firm Freshstream. 

Sytner said it is set to rebrand its remaining CarShop stores as Sytner Select Approved Used Car superstores.

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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