Car Dealer Top 100

What’s Eddie Hawthorne’s secret? How did Arnold Clark clock up £398m in profits? – Car Dealer Top 100

  • Arnold Clark tops the Car Dealer Top 100 most profitable dealer list
  • Boss Eddie Hawthorne chats about how firm clocked up such huge profits in 2021
  • He reveals what 2022 results will bring and gives a clue at to what’s next for the group

Time 7:12 am, December 20, 2022

Eddie Hawthorne is the car dealer that most car dealers want to be.

And after clocking up another year of record profits, the list of contemporaries that look on in wonderment at the Arnold Clark CEO grows ever longer.

‘He’s simply the best car dealer in Europe,’ said one gushing car dealer group boss when we asked him what he thought of Hawthorne.


‘The man is a magician. He’s been leading that business for years and every year still pulls it out of the hat.’

The admiration for Hawthorne runs deep in the motor trade. Mention his name to anyone running a car dealership and there’ll be a sharp intake of breath, before the praise begins to flow.

‘He is, pure and simply, the car dealer that everyone in this industry aspires to emulate – me included,’ added another dealer boss who runs what most people would call a very successful group in itself.

Once again, Arnold Clark sits atop our 2022 Car Dealer Top 100 list of most profitable dealers, thanks to incredible £398m profits in 2021.

The Scotland-based business is quite simply a money-making juggernaut. It’s one car manufacturers fear and car dealers want to copy.

The next best placed dealer group, Sytner, was some £152m adrift in second place.

So how does Hawthorne manage to clock up profits at a rate of £33m a month?

Chatting to Car Dealer on Zoom from his office in Hillington, the Arnold Clark boss deftly dodges the question.

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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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