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Motor - 2004






















Plymouth City Council has approved plans from Stuart's Commercial to set up a Volvo truck repair and servicing centre near the Crownhill Retail Park, with the creation of 30 jobs.

Tunbridge Wells Mazda is to relocate its car dealership to Dowding Way in March, and the name is changing to Drake & Fletcher Mazda.

Lincolnshire Co-operative is to sell its Wights Motor car dealership in Boston to Crystal Motor Group, securing the future of 22 jobs.

Northern Venture Managers has backed a £3m management buy-out at Direct Valeting, the provider of valeting services to the motor trade.

Reg Vardy has acquired the Priory Motor Group's MG Rover car dealership in Newcastle for undisclosed terms.

Allied Vehicles is to expand its taxi factory in Glasgow with the creation of 55 jobs, which will involve a £0.7m investment in new premises and equipment.

Hertz, the car hire company, is to set up a 69,000 sq ft office in Uxbridge, in order to relocate staff from Hounslow and Heathrow.

Ford has secured a £4.5m government grant to go towards a £169m expansion project at its diesel engine plant in Dagenham, which will create 460 jobs.

MG Rover is to recruit 200 engineering and purchasing staff in preparation for the joint development of four new cars with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

Sytner, the car dealership, is preparing to relocate its head office to a 20,000 sq ft site at Grove Park in Leicester, and the 125-strong workforce is expected to reach 200 within two years.

Keltruck has acquired East Midland Commercials, creating a combined truck dealership with almost 500 staff and 17 locations across the Midlands.

Leyland Product Developments, the Leyland-based vehicle designer with 45 staff, has been acquired by Greencool Technologies of China.

Invest Leicestershire is providing assistance to Chinese car parts manufacturer Asimco Technologies with plans to set up a European sales and management office, and a number of sites of up to 5,000 sq ft are being considered.

Accident Exchange, the Birmingham-based vehicle accident management company, is planning to expand its vehicle fleet from 600 to 1,600 over the next 18 months.

Sinclair Garages, the VW and Audi specialist, is to set up two car dealerships at the SA1 development in Swansea, with the creation of an unspecified number of jobs.

Alexander Audi is to relocate its Huddersield-based Audi car dealership to the Trident Business Park on Leeds Road.

Jaguar has unveiled plans for the development of a new science and business park at its site in Coventry, in order to create a centre of excellence for suppliers of automotive design and technology.

Ford has sold its Cosworth motorsport technology engineering operations to the owners of the Champ Car World Series for undisclosed terms, while its Jaguar Racing business has been acquired by Red Bull.

Glas-Weld Scotland is to create about 50 jobs this year, having acquired the Scottish licence rights to US car windscreen repair firm Glas-Weld.

Preston Hall is to invest £0.7m in the expansion of its BMW and Mini dealership in Stockton, with the creation of ten jobs.

Toyota has launched a recruitment drive across the Midlands for an additional 500 staff, as part of a £50m investment in its car manufacturing plant near Derby.

Newcastle Borough Council is considering plans from Fowlers Motors to build a new factory in Silverdale, Staffordshire, to produce taxis, with the creation of 120 jobs.

RAC is expected to relocate its Lex Auto Logistics operations to smaller premises following the loss of its parts distribution deal with Leyland Trucks.

North Tyneside Council is considering plans from Richville to build a car showroom at the Silverlink retail park, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Lookers has acquired Darlington Volkswagen from Mill Garages for £0.8m, in order to complement its existing VW dealership on Teesside.

British Car Auctions has awarded a £6m contract to Clegg Construction to build a car auction centre in Bedford by summer 2005.

Multipart Universal, the Sheffield-based truck parts specialist with 56 staff, has undergone a management buy-in backed by Enterprise Finance Europe, and will be renamed Universal Components UK.

CES UK has acquired Liverpool Exhaust Supplies and Fairfield Motor Services for undisclosed terms.

Ford is to invest £115m in a new production line at its Halewood gearbox factory on Merseyside, securing the future of 700 jobs.

Testwood Motor Group, the Southampton-based Audi and VW dealer, has been acquired by Harwoods and Breeze Motor Group for undisclosed terms.

Lind Automotive Group has acquired East Kent Audi, and has also announced plans to invest £35m relocating its five BMW/Mini dealerships over the next 12 months.

Jennings Motor Group has announced plans to set up a new multi-franchise car dealership in Sunderland next year, which could create more than 100 jobs.

Lookers has acquired a Saab dealership in Chester for £0.9m and a Volkswagen dealership in Northallerton for £0.6m.

European Motor Holdings has sold its Ocean car wash business to IMO for £1.2m.

Lind Automotive Group has won permission to build a £8m BMW and Mini car dealership on the edge of Norwich by next summer.

European Motor Holdings has sold its Dane Audi car dealership in Chester to Smith Knight Fay for £3.3m.

British Car Auctions has awarded a £6m contract to Clegg Construction to build a car auction centre in Ravensden, Bedfordshire.

Schrader Electronics is to recruit extra workers at its factory in Antrim, having won a contract to provide tyre pressure monitoring systems to Mercedes.

Nissan is to invest at least £100m upgrading its Sunderland plant, in order to produce a new people-carrier called the Tone.

Driving Standards Agency has advertised a £50m deal to find five regional contractors to set up 60 new motorcycle testing centres by 2008.

Nova RentaCar Reservations, the County Down-based car rental reservation service, has been acquired by Kerry-based global payments firm Fexco for undisclosed terms.

Carshock of Gosforth is planning to open a nationwide chain of 28 car showrooms by 2007.

Assa of Sunderland is planning to create 40 new jobs over the next 18 months, having won a contract to provide training services to the automotive sector under the government's new Learndirect scheme.

Norwich Union has acquired HPI, the Salisbury-based provider of vehicle status checking services, for £120m.

Daihatsu is to open six new car dealerships in Chatham, Liverpool, Lowestoft, Newbury, Maidstone and Nottingham, taking its total network to 117 sites.

European Motor Holdings has sold its Mill Audi car dealership in Sunderland to Colebrook & Burgess for £2.1m.

Michelin is to invest £14m at its tyre factory in Ballymena, in order to support 12 efficiency projects and introduce new technology to the site.

Inchcape is looking to expand its car distribution activities in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and is also seeking opportunities in China.

Lookers has acquired FPS Distribution, the wholesale distributor of vehicle parts to the automotive aftermarket, for £31m.

Lotus is recruiting more than 100 manufacturing staff at its sports car factory in Norfolk, due to rising demand from the US.

Demon Tweeks Direct, the motorsport equipment supplier, has undergone a management buy-out, and is now planning to open stores across the country.

TVR, the Blackpool-based sports car manufacturer with 400 staff, has been acquired by a Russian businessman, and a substantial investment is expected to expand the company into North America.

Arvin Meritor is to invest £3.6m in improvements at its heavy vehicle braking systems factory in Cwmbran, securing the future of 177 jobs.

Listers is to set up a Toyota car dealership at the Eliot Park development in Nuneaton, while Research is to establish a Subaru and Isuzu dealership nearby.

Reg Vardy has completed the £5m acquisition of the Renault car dealership in Leeds from Renault Retail Group.

MG Rover is to sell its car parts business to Caterpillar Logistics Services for more than £100m, which will involve the transfer of 29 staff and the retention by Caterpillar of the 390 Leicestershire-based staff already working on the contract.

Reg Vardy has acquired H Tones Vauxhall, the Hartlepool-based car dealership, for £3m.

Sytner has acquired Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati car dealerships in Edinburgh from Glenvarigill for undisclosed terms, leaving Glenvarigill to focus on new Audi dealerships in Edinburgh and Stirling.

Magal Engineering has acquired Portland Pressing, the Birmingham-based manufacturer of grilles and other metal pressings for the motor industry, for undisclosed terms.

T Mat Engineering has sold its vehicle products division to a management team for undisclosed terms, and Airflow's administrators are now seeking a buyer for the industrial division.

European Motor Holdings has sold Taunton Trucks, its DAF and LDV trucks business, to Wessex GS for £0.6m.

Centrica has agreed to sell the AA motoring organisation to a company formed by CVC Capital Partners and Permira Advisers for £1.7bn.

BMW is to invest £40m at its Swindon Pressings plant over the next three years, in order to supply the main bodywork for the new Mini convertible car.

Mayflower's administrators have sold Mayflower Vehicle Systems to Stadco for £20m, securing the future of 600 staff at the Coventry-based vehicle panels business.

Inchcape has acquired Southwell Motor, the operator of five Mercedes and Smart car dealerships in the East Midlands, for £28m.

Rydale Cars is to invest £3m in the expansion of its BMW and Mini dealership in Oldbury.

Stoneridge-Pollak, the automotive electronic components company with sites in Northampton and Cheltenham, is to set up a new headquarters for about 340 of its staff in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, over the next 18 months.

Auto Indemnity Group has acquired the Colegate Group of Norfolk for £1.1m, including Colegate Vehicle Hire, Colegate Accident Assistance and Motor Hire of Diss.

Norfolk County Council and Group Lotus are to set up a £4m engineering centre of excellence next to the Lotus site in Hethel.

Desira Group has acquired Abacus, in order to offer self-drive hire services at its Norfolk car dealerships.

Essex Ford is recruiting up to 40 staff for a new £3m Ford Transit and Mazda car franchise in Thurrock.

ScootElectric, the importer of electric mopeds, is to raise up to £1m under the Enterprise Investment Scheme to fund the expansion of its dealer network.

Mahle Filter Systems is planning to extend its automotive filters factory in Wiltshire, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Gowrings has sold its motor vehicle accident repair centres in Wokingham, Swindon and Oxford to Nationwide Accident Repair Services for £0.5m.

ZF Lemforder is planning to invest £8.5m in the expansion of its automotive suspension parts factory in Darlaston, with the creation of 30 jobs.

Sunwin Motor Group is to acquire seven car dealerships from the Ilkeston Co-op Group for undisclosed terms.

Toyota has announced plans to invest a further £50m at its car plant in Derbyshire, with the creation of 500 jobs.

Gibbs Technologies is to expand production at its 100,000 sq ft Aquada amphibian sports car factory in Nuneaton.

BMW is said to be planning to invest at least £20m in the paint shop at its Mini car factory in Oxford over the next two years.

Nottingham City Council is considering plans for the relocation of the Mercedes-Benz car dealership from West Bridgford to a new showroom and regional headquarters in King's Meadow Road, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Caffyns has acquired the Volkswagen car dealership for the Brighton area from Appleyard Motor Company for £0.5m.

Essex Ford is seeking permission to relocate its Basildon-based car dealership from Thundersley to Rayleigh Weir.

Sytner has confirmed plans to open a £5.5m Ferrari car dealership at Lenton Lane in Nottingham later this year, which will involve the relocation of its Graypaul Ferrari-Maserati business from sites in Loughborough and Sheffield.

Intertek has acquired Entela, the US automotive components testing company, for £15m.

Interleasing is planning to set up a new European headquarters near Birmingham Airport this summer, with the relocation of staff from Leamington Spa and its existing site in Birmingham.

John Roe has acquired the Toyota car dealership in Hull from JCT-600 in a multi-million pound deal.

Arriva Vehicle Rental has started work on the development of a £0.5m rental centre in Sunderland, which should be completed by September.

Ford has announced plans to create 600 jobs at its car engine plant in Bridgend over the next three years, following a £293m investment programme.

Johnson Controls is to create 93 jobs at its automotive foams factory in Wednesbury over the next few months.

Northgate has acquired full ownership of Fualsa, the Spanish vehicle rental company, in a £15m deal, and plans to double Fualsa's network to 20 sites by 2006.

European Motor Holdings is to set up a £3m BMW and Mini car dealership in Durham this year, with the creation of 40 jobs.

Reg Vardy is to build a £10m used-car supermarket on a 16-acre site next to the Gateshead Metro Centre, with the creation of 100 jobs.

CCM Motorcycles is expected to proceed with plans to set up a motorcycle factory in Haydock by the end of the year, having previously raised almost £1.5m from Merseyside Special Investment Fund.

Reg Vardy is to open a new Fiat car dealership in Sunderland later this year.

Mazda is planning to double its network of car fleet specialist dealers in the UK from seven to 15 this year, and its total UK network will rise from 140 to 157.

Sumitomo Electrical Wiring Systems is to invest £2.2m in research and development facilities at its automotive components site in Ystradgynlais, securing 100 jobs and creating 15 new jobs.

Norwich Union has acquired, the London-based online and telephone car sales company with 20 staff.

Islington Motors is to open a £1.5m Alfa Romeo car dealership in Melksham in June, with the creation of 20 jobs.

Minorplanet Systems is planning to raise £12m in a share placing, in order to reduce debt and fund the development of its vehicle fleet management technology.

XecutiveResearch Group is to acquire Accident Exchange, the prestige vehicle replacement company, for £14m, and will change its name to Accident Exchange Group.

Marshall Toyota is seeking permission to build a £1.5m car dealership on the outskirts of King's Lynn.

DaimlerChrysler UK Retail has won planning permission from Elmbridge Borough Council to set up a Mercedes-Benz Heritage & Technology Centre at Brooklands in Surrey.

David Prentice Cars is to invest £1.5m at its Portadown site and set up a new BMW and Mini dealership in Omagh, with the creation of up to 30 new jobs.

Meridian Technologies is to expand the workforce at its automotive instrument panels factory in Sutton-in-Ashfield from 31 to 41.

Benfield Motor Group is to open a Volkswagen van dealership on a two-acre site at the Fossway in Newcastle in May.

Chartwell Bodycraft is to relocate its car bodywork repair business to a new £2.5m site at Pride Park in Derby in August, with the creation of 16 jobs.

Corus, the steel manufacturer, is planning to set up a £25m research and development joint venture with Warwick University to develop new techniques for the production of automotive materials.

Derby City Council has sold the last available plot of land at Pride Park to Volkswagen Financial Services for the development of an Audi dealership with the creation of about 70 jobs.

ASL Systems, the Gateshead-based manufacturer of wiring systems for commercial vehicles, is to create 50 new jobs.

Carmasters is to create 100 jobs in Bridlington this year, having won a contract from Northgate to refurbish former hire vans and cars.

Hepworth Honda is planning to relocate its Huddersfield car dealership to a larger site on Leeds Road later this year.

Lookers is to open a £4.5m Vauxhall car dealership at the Star City centre in Birmingham in May.

Caffyns has acquired a Vauxhall car dealership in Tunbridge Wells from the Piper Group for £2.9m.

JL French is creating 30 new jobs at its automotive engine and transmission components plant in Witham.

PFK Ling is to set up a £2.5m Honda centre in Lowestoft with the creation of up to 60 jobs, in order to offer cars, motorcycles, quad bikes and jet skis.

Multibuild has won a £2.4m contract to build a new car showroom in Liverpool for Williams Motor Group.

Pendragon is to acquire CD Bramall, the operator of 107 car dealerships, for £230m.

London Borough of Hounslow is considering plans from Audi to build a £14m flagship car dealership in west London, and Exterior has won the construction contract.

Bulwell Precision Engineering, the Pinxton-based manufacturer of automotive components, has been acquired by the newly-formed Nasmyth Group, and the workforce is expected to grow by more than 10% this year to about 265.

Wild Manufacturing, the Birmingham-based manufacturer of precision components for the motor industry with annual sales of £10m, has undergone a management buy-in.

Cotswold Group is to build a £4.5m BMW dealership in Gloucester by the end of the year, with the creation of 40 jobs.

A1 Stretch is planning a £15m flotation on Aim in March, in order to fund the nationwide expansion of its limousine hire business.

Peugeot is planning to invest £25m at its Ryton car plant in Coventry this year, including the redevelopment of the paint shop area.

Northgate is to raise £15m in a share placing to fund the expansion of its van rental business in the UK and continental Europe.

Dennis Eagle, the manufacturer of refuse collection vehicles with 580 staff at factories in Warwick and Blackpool, has been sold by Bridgepoint to ABN AMRO Capital for £51m.

DVLA, the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency, is planning to outsource its property portfolio, which could lead to the redevelopment of its Swansea headquarters.

Warings is expected to win a £30m contract from DaimlerChrysler to build a heritage and technology centre at the Brooklands racetrack in Surrey.

Jennings Motor Group is planning to open a car dealership in Middlesbrough in March with the creation of 30 jobs, offering a number of undisclosed brands.

Bentleys Toyota and Barclays Citroen, the Warrington-based car dealerships, have undergone a management buy-out from Mainland Investments, and the business will be expanded with an increase in the 90-strong workforce.

Wolverhampton Council is to consider plans from Volkswagen for the development of a commercial vehicles outlet near Bilston town centre, with the creation of 28 jobs.