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Daily news round upBack

Cambria in £7.56m deal for TH White Land Rover car dealership


Cambria Automobiles has paid £7.56 million to acquire a Land Rover car dealership in Royal Wotton Basset, Swindon, from TH White.

It is Cambria’s second Land Rover business, and the new operation will be relocated within two years to alongside its existing Swindon Grange Jaguar business in Swindon, into a combined dealership in line with Jaguar Land Rover’s current showroom style.

The consideration for the acquisition comprises £2.25 million for the freehold property, £3.0 million of goodwill, £0.07 million for fixed assets, with the remaining £2.24 million for used and demonstrator vehicles, parts stock and apportionments.

The acquired dealerships’ management accounts for the year ended 31 December 2014 show revenue of £32 million and Cambria estimates the profit before tax for the same period was £0.7 million. It is anticipated that this acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing, Cambria said.

Cambria Automobiles chief executive Mark Lavery said: “The acquisition of the Land Rover dealership in Swindon aligns perfectly with our stated strategy to develop our portfolio of premium and high luxury franchises. The Swindon territory is well known to us with the Cambria Group established in the town following its first acquisition in 2006.


Former Next director David Keens joins the Auto Trader board

Former Next Group finance director David Keens has been appointed to the board of automotive classifieds firm Auto Trader Group.

Keens has joined as an non-executive director and will also serve as its senior independent director and chair of its audit committee.

He was previously at Next, serving as group treasurer from 1986 to 1991 and group finance director from 1991 to 2015.

He is also a non-executive director of J Sainsbury.

Ed Williams, Auto Trader’s chairman, said: “David’s depth of public company experience is an immensely valuable addition to the board. He will play an important role in ensuring Auto Trader’s smooth transition to public company status and his appointment is a significant step towards achieving full compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code.”


Leading Edge vehicle wrapping company doubles team

Graphic fitment company Leading Edge has doubled its team and increased turnover 133%.

The company received a Regional Growth Fund boost enabling the purchase of a state-of-the-art printer, new fabrication equipment and a five-vehicle addition to its installation fleet, bringing a total investment of £200,000 in the last six months.

New roles created in 2015 include fabricators, drivers, printers and fitters.

With clients including McDonalds, Card Factory, Soreen and tyre service ATS, the new resources and expanded team has brought Leading Edge its widest ever national client base.

Managing director Matthew Evans said: “From our West Yorkshire base, we are now independently delivering on contracts across the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

“Our new super-wide printer produces graphics up to 3.2 metres wide and has a dual print facility which means we can produce more high impact, high quality artwork, faster than ever before.


Venson appoints new account and business development managers

Venson has appointed Samantha Reynolds and James Sherlock to its customer management team.

Together they will focus on customer engagement and delivering a high level of service, catering to the individual needs of Venson’s clients.

They are joined by Jonathan Hopkinson, as business development manager who will support the company’s growth strategy.

Prior to joining Venson as an account manager, Reynolds was a multi-station branch manager for Europcar and a fleet cluster manager, overseeing the fleet for nine separate stations, comprising 1,000 vehicles.

Joining Reynolds is James Sherlock, who has been promoted internally from account executive. He will be managing a portfolio of clients, including Housing Associations who are running commercial vehicle fleets.

Hopkinson, who has extensive experience as a successful senior account manager within the automotive sector, across both vehicle and aftersales, joins Venson as a business development manager. His experience has been gained from working for some of the largest PLCs in the automotive sector. His proven ability to manage varied accounts, across the motor industry makes him a valuable addition to the Venson team.


Vertu buys Land Rover and Jaguar dealerships

Vertu Motors has capitalised on the current restructuring of the JLR network with the purchase of Land Rover and Jaguar dealerships.

The company has bought Bury Land Rover in Lancashire from Pendragon, paying £7m for the good will.

The deal complements its existing Land Rover dealerships in Nelson, Lancashire and across West Yorkshire and further extends the Farnell brand in the region. Vertu already has a Farnell branded Jaguar business in nearby Bolton.

Last year Bury Land Rover generated £1.4m profit on £41m turnover. The board expects this acquisition to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year.

Paul Daly, a partner with UHY Hacker Young, who advised on the deal, said: “This acquisition represents a strong Land Rover opportunity that Vertu has added to its portfolio enabling it to extend its territory in the North.”

Vertu has also bought the Bradford Jaguar from Lancaster for £900,000, including£750,000 of goodwill. The deal is expected to go ahead on 12 May subject to certain conditions.

For the year ended 31 December, 2014, the dealership showed revenues of £14.7m and a loss of £150,000.



Motor Trader Awards 2015 finalists announced

The finalists have been announced for this year’s Motor Trader Awards.

Over 80 entries companies and individuals have been shortlisted for the awards which will be announced at a gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on 8 July.

“The quality of entries was extremely and we’re delighted to welcome many new names to this year’s Motor Trader Awards. Our roving judges will be visiting the finalists over the course of May and June and we would like to wish everyone the best of luck,” said Curtis Hutchinson, Motor Trader’s editor.

Tables and places are available for the Motor Trader Awards on a first-come first-served basis.



Audi to trial car boot delivery system

Audi has developed a system that enables parcels to be placed in the boot of a vehicle in an attempt to cut out items being returned to a depot when the recipient is out.

Co-developed with logistics company DHL and online retail giant Amazon, the system, dubbed Audi connect easy, operates through temporary authorisation for keyless access to a car’s boot.

The German car maker said that in the future customers would be able to enter their Audi as the shipping address for online orders. DHL, Audi and Amazon will trial the service in Munich this month under what it calls “real conditions”.

The DHL driver handling the parcel is given a digital access code for the boot of a customer’s car. The code can be used once for a specific period of time and expires as soon as the luggage compartment has been closed.

“With comprehensive connectivity, we are transforming the car into a service device and integrating it even more closely into the everyday lives of our customers,” said Luca de Meo, member of the board of management for sales at Audi. “Audi connect easy delivery helps save time and offers more convenience and flexibility – advantages that are increasingly important for the target group of a premium brand.”




Mercedes-Benz Vans to sponsor Dave

Mercedes-Benz Vans has partnered with UKTV channel Dave, representing the LCV division’s first television partnership.

The partnership will run for six months from today (1 May). Mercedes’ indents will be visible during the channel’s Characters on Dave programming strand, which includes Storage Hunters, Mock the Week and Q1.

Second indents will each depict a different scene featuring employees of a fictitious company with its branding on the Citan, Vito or Sprinter highlighting the different characters that use the vehicles.

“For us, the partnership is an ideal fit – Dave’s values and ethos provides us with a great platform to share our customer-focused message,” said Steve Bridge, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

“The viewing audience aligns extremely well and allows us to deliver engaging messaging with high impact and broad reach,” said Bridge.




Symach in Caribbean first

Symach has supplied a new Yrausquin Ford car dealer bodyshop in Aruba, Caribbean with its FixLine formula.

The move sees the first installation for Symach in Caribbean. Working in partnership with Yrausquin bodyshop manager, Richard Every, the business has develop the ideal solution for the bodyshop.

The facility features Symach equipment, including SprayTron, Easydry, Flydry, CarMover and ShopLine which allows the bodyshop to produce 50 jobs per week. Symach carried out the installation and trained the customer on site using its international team.

Symach is a specialist in building new bodyshops all around the world using its FixLine formula which offers high productivity and fast key-to-key times.




Insurance investigation sees three arrested

An Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) investigation into the suspected fraudulent sale of an insurer’s confidential customer information has seen three people arrested across Bournemouth and Poole.

The City of London Police unit took action after LV= referred suspicions that, between January and December 2014, an employee had unlawfully passed information they held on 50 third party road traffic collision victims to a claims management company in exchange for payments totalling close to £17,000.

The victims’ reported being contacted by a person they believed worked for LV= and subsequently their claims for personal injuries, vehicle repairs and courtesy cars being dealt with by a claims management company.

They said they had received payouts from the claims management company for their claims. But IFED’s investigation has uncovered the payouts were up to 40 per cent lower than the amount LV= had paid out for each claim.

Yesterday, a 22-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man, both claims management company employees, were arrested at a business premises in the Westbourne area on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering.

They have since been bailed (date awaits).

Detectives searched the premises and seized a large volume of insurance-related documentation.

On Wednesday, a 24-year-old former LV= employee was arrested at his home in the Poole area on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position. He was later released on police bail until September.

City of London Police Detective Constable Kate Sibley, who is leading the investigation, said, ‘Illegitimately selling or buying an insurer’s confidential customer information is a criminal offence.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 01/05/2015