Car dealerships in Scotland are facing competition from a new brand by Aim-listed Vertu Motors. The firm have announced that it is launching the Macklin Motors brand after acquiring Johnston of Renfrewshire, which runs a major Peugeot franchise on the outskirts of Paisley.
The new branding design comes after a £2.1 million deal which saw Vertu take over Dunfermline Autocentre for £2.7 million at the beginning of the year. At the time, the group’s chief executive Robert Forrester said he would use that takeover as a springboard for expansion.
The new Macklin name will soon embellish the Johnston Peugeot showroom and be used for subsequent acquisitions north of the Border. Dunfermline Autocentre, which is one of Scotland’s biggest Ford dealers, will also rebrand.
Vertu was set up in Autumn 2006 and floated as a cash shell to take advantage of consolidation within the industry. It trades mainly under the Bristol Street Motors banner from some 60 sites following the March 2007 acquisition of the UK’s 13th largest motor retailer.
Mr Forrester said the group’s second deal in Scotland was just following on their strategy to increase the motor retail group across the UK. Store designers will help a £200,000 refurbishment of the Paisley site, as it is planned to bring the showroom up to Peugeot’s latest ‘Blue Box’ standards.
“The Paisley dealership is in a prime retail location and represents a strengthening of the group’s relationship with Peugeot; therefore, we are excited by the opportunities,” added Forrester.