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Peter JonesFormer chief executive of Lookers, Peter Jones, is to join Vertu Motors as head of the group’s board. He will take up the role of non-executive chairman at the end of this year, replacing Paul Williams who is retiring.

Jones, arguably the most successful car retailer of his generation, was CEO of Lookers from 2009 until his resignation last year. He followed Ken Surgenor and Fred Maguire in building the group into a £2bn business with diverse interests across auto retailing and parts.

At the time of his resignation it was assumed that Jones would retain an advisory role to Lookers but, in the Vertu Motors statement, he does not list Lookers or any of its subsidiaries among his current directorates.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, described Peter Jones as “an industry heavyweight” and said he looked forward to “working with him and benefitting from his guidance”.

Prior to joining Lookers Jones has variously been CEO of CD Bramall, a director of Inchcape Retail and Rover Cars, and ran a successful Volkswagen and Audi business under the Jones & Bramall banner.

Meanwhile, at the Vertu Motors AGM today, the company reported trading in the first four months of the year ahead of expectations, benefitting from “improved performance of prior year acquisitions and strong market conditions”.

The group said its like-for-like new retail volumes have grown by 13.5% during the period and used vehicle sales grew on a like-for-like basis also by 13.5%. Used car margins and gross profit per unit also increased.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 25/07/2014