Monday, 11 August 2014

Marshall Motor Group buys first BMW Dealerships

Marshall Motor Group has bought its first BMW and Mini dealerships with the acquisition of Crystal Motor Group, owners of Astle BMW and Mini in Scunthorpe and Grimsby.
The private deal, for an undisclosed sum, means that Marshalls now represents each of the major German and British premium car brands and takes the annual turnover of the business to around £1.2bn.

On completion of the deal, Marshall will have 75 franchised outlets and 2300 staff.
Alongside Astle, which has two BMW and one Mini outlet, Marshall is also acquiring the three Nissan dealerships, trading as Crystal in Boston, Grantham and Lincoln. The Crystal businesses are also Renault authorised repairers.
Daksh Gupta, Marshall chief executive, said: “This is an historically important acquisition for Marshall which fits perfectly with our stated strategy to grow with the right brand partners in the right locations.
“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with BMW and Mini for the first time. We now have a truly balanced portfolio with important partnerships across the volume, alternate premium and premium sectors.”
The three new Nissan dealerships will form a natural market area with the existing Marshall Nissan outlets in Bury St Edmunds and Peterborough.
Crystal Motor Group was the largest privately owned motor group in Lincolnshire and majority owned by Mike Baldry, a former Alphabet and Dial Contracts veteran. He sold a 45% stake in the business to Camden Ventures when he was offered the opportunity to expand and buy Astle BMW in 2008.
Accounts to the end of 2103 showed Crystal Motor Group with a turnover of £32m and a pre-tax profit of almost £616,000. Assets were primarily stock, valued at just over £4m.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Marshall acquires Hammonds Land Rover
Marshall, the family-owned, £1bn dealer group which is celebrating its 105th year in business, has announced that it completed the acquisition of the Hammonds Land Rover business in Halesworth, which is situated between Ipswich and Norwich.
The addition of this business will take the number of Marshall Land Rover dealerships to six and is part of a wider strategic development to represent Land Rover in Suffolk.
Commenting on the acquisition, Daksh Gupta, Chief Executive of Marshall said: “Halesworth Land Rover is a great business which will turn over £30m this year and has a first class team whom we look forward to welcoming to Marshall.”
Hammonds Group has represented Land Rover in Halesworth for 23 years, part of a portfolio of businesses, including five other brands, which has been trading for over 50 years.
Marshall has represented Land Rover for 40 years and its territory now covers most of the East of England from the M1 to the coast, with dealerships in Lincoln, Melton Mowbray, Peterborough, Bedford, Cambridge and now Halesworth.
Land Rover is ranked as the No.1 franchise in the National Franchised Dealers Association in the most recent survey of its members.
Daksh Gupta added: “This acquisition continues our established strategy of building scalable businesses with core brand partners based on a strong relationship and a depth of representation. We are delighted to be adding to our Land Rover portfolio just as the current fantastic product range is about to be further enhanced with the introduction of the new Discovery Sport next year.”
Under the terms of the deal, all 42 colleagues at the Halesworth Land Rover business will transfer to Marshall.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Marshall acquires 7th Volvo Business
Marshall acquires 7th Volvo Business from Regent Automotive Group in Bishop Stortford and exclusive responsibility for overseas, military and diplomatic sales Marshall, the family-owned £1bn dealer group, has announced that is has completed the acquisition of the Volvo business in Bishops Stortford from Regent Automotive Group.

The new acquisition will bring to seven the number of Volvo businesses in the Marshall portfolio making Marshall the largest partner for Volvo in the UK, which run in one contiguous territory from Nottingham in the north to Welwyn Garden City and Bishop’s Stortford in the south, taking in Grantham, Peterborough, Cambridge and Milton Keynes along the way.

Commenting on the acquisition, Daksh Gupta, Chief Executive of Marshall said: ”We are delighted to have completed this acquisition and to be welcoming our new colleagues to Marshall. This acquisition is in line with our clear strategy to build strength through the depth of representation with our core brand partners, like Volvo, with whom we have an exceptionally strong relationship.” The new business is joining a strong Volvo division, with the six existing Marshall Volvo businesses having generated a return on sales in excess of 2% in 2013 and a return on capital employed of 18.9%.

Daksh Gupta added: “We are very excited about the future with Volvo, which is being strengthened by their substantial investment in class-leading new product such as the replacement for the iconic XC-90 which will be launched in the UK in the coming months.”

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Marshall, the privately owned dealer Group, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Audi, Volkswagen (Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles) and Škoda businesses in Devon and Somerset from Silver Street Automotive.
The deal includes 10 businesses: three Audi businesses (Exeter, Plymouth and Taunton); three Volkswagen cars businesses (Barnstaple, Bridgwater, Taunton); two Volkswagen commercial vehicles businesses (Barnstaple, Bridgwater); Škoda in Barnstaple and the Trade Parts Specialist business in Exeter.
The acquisition takes the total number of franchised dealerships in the Marshall portfolio to 70.

Under the terms of the agreement, all 324 colleagues at these sites have transferred to Marshall, taking the headcount at Marshall to around 2,300. The combined group’s turnover for 2012 is £927m with Silver Street accounting for £115m.

Commenting on the acquisition, Daksh Gupta, Chief Executive at Marshall said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Audi and also to be joining the Škoda network. We are also pleased to be further strengthening our relationship with Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles especially having joined their respective networks just last year.”
Daksh Gupta added: “This is a significant acquisition for Marshall which sees us continuing our strategy to become a national dealer group. Since early 2009, we have added substantial scalable businesses in the Midlands, the North East, the North West and now the South West, all the time reducing our reliance on our historic heartland in East Anglia.”
“Since 2009, our underlying turnover has grown from £250m to a run rate that is rapidly approaching a billion. 70% of our portfolio is new and we have welcomed around 1,500 new colleagues to Marshall. All of our acquisitions have been funded by our own cash flows and have involved no debt. Our plan is to continue to grow the business through acquisition, but a key focus for us now is optimising the group’s performance."
"This performance optimisation strategy is to benefit all our key stakeholders; our customers, people, brand partners and shareholders.”

Simon Thomas, Chief Executive of Volkswagen Group UK commented “This is an important acquisition event for Marshall and the Volkswagen Group. It will strengthen our partnership by increasing representation on our Volkswagen car and commercial vehicle brands whilst also introducing Marshall as a new investor to our Škoda and Audi franchises.”

The new Audi businesses will be overseen by David Waghorn, an established Marshall Franchise Director with significant prestige brand experience.
The Volkswagen businesses and the Škoda business will be run by Chris Norris, the Marshall Brand Director for Volkswagen who joined the family‐owned group in 2012 following the Company’s acquisition of their first Volkswagen businesses.
Daksh Gupta concluded: “I very much look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to Marshall and to introducing them to our Company, our culture and our values.”

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Marshall closes car dealership

marshall vauxhallMarshall has closed its Vauxhall dealership in Ely.
After more than a decade in the city, the branch in St Mary’s Street closed on Friday.
Christopher Walkinshaw, the company’s communications director, said: “We are working with all 12 employees to find them alternative employment within the company.
“Vacancies are coming up at Marshall all the time so we are confident that we will be able to find the majority, if not all of them, alternative roles.”
He said the lease on the site was due to end in the next few weeks and Marshall decided to close rather then renew it. “We are now working with our customers to deal with their needs.”
The dealership has been in Ely since 2001.
The site’s owner, Ely businessman Mike Grey, said: “I do not know what the future holds for the site yet. I am now looking at all the possibilities, such as leasing it out to someone else or developing it.”

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Nissan Pioneers First-Ever*1 Independent Control Steering Technology;
To Be On Sale Within a Year
- Delivers responsive performance by controlling tire and steering angles inputs independently-

YOKOHAMA, Japan (October 17, 2012) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the world's first steering technology that allows independent control of a vehicle's tire angle and steering inputs. This next-generation steering technology was developed by Nissan.
A conventional steering system directs tire movements by transmitting steering inputs to the tires via a mechanical link. Nissan's next-generation steering technology reads the driver's intentions from steering inputs and controls the vehicle's tire movements via electronic signals. This transmits the driver's intentions to the wheels even faster than a mechanical system and increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver.
The system controls and insulates the vehicle from unnecessary road-generated disturbances to deliver only the necessary performance feel to the driver. For example, even on a road surface with minor ridges or furrows, the driver no longer has to grip the steering wheel tightly and make detailed adjustments, so traveling on the intended path becomes easier.
Accompanying this next-generation steering technology, Nissan has also developed a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance on-center driving capability. This system is a world-first*2 technology that improves vehicle stability by making small input angle adjustments so the vehicle will accurately trace and continue as planned in the lane it is traveling. If the vehicle direction changes due to road surface or crosswinds, the system acts to minimize the effect of these conditions resulting in reduced steering input from the driver.
Using a camera mounted above the vehicle's rearview mirror, the system analyzes the road ahead, recognizes the lane direction, detects changes in the vehicle's direction, and transmits this information to multiple electronic control units as electronic signals. If a discrepancy occurs, the system acts to reduce the discrepancy by controlling the opposing force to the tire angle. By reducing the frequency of detailed steering input adjustments, which are a cause of fatigue on long drives, the driver's workload is greatly reduced.
This next-generation steering technology's high reliability is achieved by multiple ECUs. In the event a single ECU malfunctions, another ECU will instantly take control, and in extreme circumstances such as the power supply being disrupted, the backup clutch will act to connect the steering wheel and wheels mechanically, ensuring continued safe travel.
This technology will be equipped on select Infiniti models on sale within one year to provide "Driving as Intended" and "Driving with Peace of Mind" for owners.
*1: World-first development of an independent control steering technology that controls tire and steering angles inputs independently.
*2: World-first development of an accurate tracing technology that enables a driver to continue driving as planned in the lane with small steering angle adjustments (depending on road conditions).

Friday, 5 October 2012

Face to face: Marshall Motor Group

Marshall Motor Group continues on its acquisition trail, but of equal importance to chief executive Daksh Gupta are the controls and processes in place at the group to meet the challenges and maximise the opportunities, including the development of the company’s rapidly increasing staff.
Jeremy Bennett: What are your strategic plans?
Daksh Gupta: Our strategic imperatives are around optimising the performance of our existing core businesses with a focus on customer service, our people, brand partnerships and operational excellence. The second part is the acquisition side, which is about balancing our brand portfolio and part of that is about keeping good pace with the market. Also it’s about optimising our cash management around work and people issues. It’s a case of building on reputation for values in business.
JB: What are the headline numbers?
DG: Our operating profit went backwards, from £10.2 million to £6.9m on a like-for-like basis on a turnover of more than £700m. In 2010 we achieved £581m turnover, and we made £9.9m operating profit. But within that we took some exceptional hits, part of which was £1.6m related to acquired sites, business restructuring and divesting of businesses.
JB: When you buy an underperforming business there’s a price that you pay because it’s failing. It costs you to drag it up.
DG: This year we’ll break even on the new businesses. Next year we’ll make half a million and the year after that a million on them as the impact of our turnaround policy is felt.
JB: What were the other reasons for the fall in profits?
DG: We are heavily concentrated with a number of Japanese brands (Marshalls is Honda’s biggest partner with seven franchised outlets) and the tsunami had a comparatively worse effect on our portfolio compared to groups with less representation of Japanese brands. The good news is we did outperform the 19% national decrease as we were down only 12%. But if you take 12% out of a £700m business it’s going to hurt.
DG: One of the challenges we face is that since our volumes were down last year we’re not going to see those customers this year for servicing, so there’s a whole host of stuff that we need to do to make sure that we’re maximising every aftersales opportunity.

JB: What are you going to do to improve your absorption rate of 72% in extremely challenging conditions?
DG: We’re concentrating on everything around aftersales mar-keting, making sure we’ve got the right resource in terms of divisional help. We’re recruiting two divisional aftersales guys and plan to increase this to five.They’re effectively a resource employed by the group or by each division to support the service managers, helping them drive the performance.
One of the things we do is track electronic vehicle health check activity on a weekly basis. Had we not done this I don’t think we’d have achieved 72% absorption. We were in the 80s, but clearly the decline in retail volumes has hit that.
Marshall’s brand portfolio
JB: You’ve added Kia, Mercedes-Benz and boosted your representation with Honda and Jaguar. Why?
DG: Over the last three or four years we’ve been doing deals that have added brands or have been divesting of brands to the point where we now have fewer partners. We have to work in scalable markets and if we’ve divested from certain brands it’s invariably because they’ve been loss-making, a business where structurally we’re just not going to make money; or it’s not been a core brand for us.
JB: Have you now got your core brands?
DG: We’re not quite there yet. There are a couple of brands that we would love to represent, but we also have to recognise that those opportunities come up very rarely. Our strategy on brand is based on growing scale.

JB: You’ve moved out of your East Anglia heartland. Can you focus on more than one region and still be successful?
DG: The scale of change in Marshall Motor Group is enormous. In 2008 we were very much a regional group. And if I was asked to describe the strategy it was ‘dominate a region’. That was fine for a period of time, pre-financial crisis when the market was 2.4m new cars. You could guarantee a return because the volumes were significantly higher and absorption was higher. But the world has dramatically changed since then with a smaller market and the additional power of the internet.
JB: Your response has been to move to the north-east and north-west.
DG: Those areas are where I can achieve scale. You have to consider that whatever the size of the market area you’re in, a certain amount of the cost burden will be the same for me as it would an owner operator. But if you could operate in a city market the opportunity could be three times the size, your cost base will be nowhere near the same ratio as three times the opportunity.
In 2008 our average turnover per site was £9m. This year we’re forecasting £13.5m. That’s a function of two things: one, we’ve sold more through our existing operations. Secondly, it’s the result of operating in bigger markets.
Between 2009 and today we have added 33 new businesses and all have been broadly out of our traditional heartland, extending our reach into the north-west with our five Mercedes-Benz and two Smart dealerships; into Yorkshire adding four further Honda businesses; into Buckinghamshire, with the acquisition of Pilling Group; into Leicestershire with the Francis Group; opening businesses in places like Nottinghamshire.
But in those three years we have also been divesting of brands. We started with 41 businesses, we’ve added 33, but divested of 13 businesses, so our total is now 61. Our brand portfolio has reduced from 28 to 19.

Marshall Motor Group factfile:
Annual turnover: £747m
AM100 ranking: 12
Franchises: Volkswagen (3),
Mazda (1), Renault (1),
Mercedes-Benz (5), Smart (2), Vauxhall (6), Ford (5), Peugeot (5), Honda (7), Land Rover (5), Jaguar (4), Volvo (7), Saab (1), Citroën (2), Mitsubishi (1), Kia (3), Hyundai (1), Toyota (2), Nissan (2), Chrysler Jeep (2), Chevrolet (1), Honda motorbikes (1), Dodge (2), Seat (2), DAF (1), Suzuki (1), Dacia (1)
Annual sales volumes:
40,000 (new and used cars)
Annual servicing:
360,000 cars annually
Outlets: 61