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Motor - 2005






















Toyota is considering plans to invest in the expansion of its engines plant on Deeside, which currently employs 728 staff.

HR Owen is to sell five Volkswagen car franchises and one van franchise in northwest London to a management buy-out operating under the name of Citygate Automotive for £2.4m.

Ford has announced plans to invest £8m at its Halewood transmissions factory, in order to double production of the MT82 gearbox.

John Clark Motor Group is to relocate its Audi car dealership in Dundee to a new £2.5m site next summer, with the creation of 15 jobs.

Lookers is to acquire six car dealerships from HR Owen, including Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo sites in Colchester, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, for about £3.4m.

LDV, the Birmingham-based van manufacturer, has been acquired by US-based Sun Capital Partners and London-based EAC for an estimated £75m, which is expected to lead to the loss of 200 of the 1,200 jobs.

Pentagon has acquired a Vauxhall car dealership in Mansfield from Hartwells, taking its total number of outlets to 14.

Virago Cars is looking to set up a new sports car factory in the Midlands next year, with the creation of up to 200 jobs, and is considering sites in Solihull, Birmingham and Coventry.

Tata Group, the Indian car manufacturer, is considering plans to set up a European Technical Centre in the Coventry area next year, which could eventually lead to the creation of up to 1,000 research jobs.

Alloy Bodies, the Manchester-based manufacturer of bodies for vans and trucks with 100 staff, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Yule Catto has finalised the sale of its Autoclenz car valeting and vehicle preparation business to Autoclenz Holdings for £18m.

Wagon has acquired FKT, the German manufacturer of automotive sun blinds and cargo management systems with 115 staff, for an initial £4m.

Jaguar is considering plans to close its Browns Lane site in Coventry, and most of the remaining 500 staff are expected to relocate to other sites.

Bentley is looking to recruit an unspecified number of assembly workers, paint shop workers and metal finishers at its luxury car factory in Crewe, in preparation for the production of two new models.

Widney has bought the Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Wolverhampton car parts factories of Vickers Pressings out of administration, securing the future of 250 jobs.

Vickers Pressings Tolwood Automotive has sold its Newton Aycliffe-based car parts business out of administration, securing 125 jobs, and it will now trade as Tolwood Technologies.

Hendy Group has acquired Exeter Car Supermarket in a multi-million pound deal.

DeVries has bought the Welptons car dealership in Hessle out of administration, while the bodyshop, parts and Hyundai operations of the Welpton Group have been acquired by Beerhouse Self Drive.

Proton Cars is looking to double the size of its 73-strong car dealership network over the next two years.

Holden Group is to reorganise its car dealerships in Norwich by expanding its Renault, Honda and Chrysler franchises, but its Saab and Mitsubishi franchises will be relinquished.

Bell Truck Sales is to set up a £1.5m van dealership at the North Tees Industrial Estate in Stockton by autumn 2006.

Rieter Automotive is recruiting 25 workers for a new vehicle soundproofing systems factory due to open at Trentham Lakes Business Park in Stoke-on-Trent in January, and the site will employ up to 180 staff by the end of 2006.

Pentagon has acquired two Vauxhall car dealerships in Sheffield, increasing its total number of outlets to 13.

Intertek is to acquire Automotive Research Laboratory, the US-based automotive fuels testing company with 144 staff, from PerkinElmer for £20m.

Nottingham Volkswagen has acquired the Newbolds Garage in Mansfield, and has also announced plans to relocate one of its Nottingham sites from Vernon Road to Priory Garage in Daybrook.

Epm Technology is to set up a car body shells factory at the former MG Rover North Works site in Longbridge, with the creation of about 150 new jobs by the end of next year.

Cannock Chase Council is considering plans from Renault UK for the development of a car dealership in Cannock, which would create up to 35 jobs.

Carwashatwork of Llangollen has secured financial support from Wales Fund Managers to expand its car valeting service across the UK.

RMB Automotive is planning to set up a £4m Toyota and Lexus car dealership at Bowesfield Farm, Stockton, in 2006, with the creation of 30 jobs.

Johnsons Cars has acquired the Asgard Volvo car dealerships in Stourbridge and Solihull for undisclosed terms, taking its total network to 16.

Peugeot is to set up a 226,000 sq ft distribution centre for its Gefco subsidiary at ProLogis Park in Coventry.

Black Circles, the online tyre retailer, is planning to open a network of franchises across the country by signing up 700 garages next year.

Aviva is looking to expand its recently-acquired RAC motoring business by adding 1.8m customers.

Minorplanet has raised £10m in a share placing to fund the expansion of its Leeds-based vehicle fleet management systems business.

Lookers has acquired APEC, the Bristol-based automotive braking parts distributor with 50 staff, for £9.2m.

Lear Corporation and Tachi-S are planning to set up a car parts factory at the former Lucas Sumitomo site in Sunderland, in order to make seat belts and air conditioning systems, with the creation of 250 jobs.

Charvills has sold its Hoddesdon car dealership and its Citroen servicing and repairs franchise to tyre and exhaust specialist Mr Unique.

Suzuki is to relocate its remaining operations in West Sussex to its new £15m distribution, training and office complex in Milton Keynes by mid-2006.

Royal Bank of Scotland is to create 50 jobs at a new car repair centre due to open on a 1.5-acre site at the North Tees Industrial Estate in Stockton in January.

Toyota is planning to set up a £10m automotive training centre in Nottingham, and expects to receive funding from the East Midlands Development Agency and the Learning & Skills Council.

Ford is to invest £85m at its factory in Dagenham, in order to produce a new diesel engine for commercial vehicles.

Wrightbus is to invest £15m in the expansion of its bus manufacturing operation in Ballymena, with the creation of about 170 jobs over the next three years.

Honda has taken full control of the Northamptonshire-based BAR Formula One motor racing team, with the acquisition of a 55% stake from British American Tobacco.

East Anglian Motor Auctions is planning to relocate its 25 staff to a larger four-acre site on the Gateway 11 business park at Wymondham, and building work is due to start in October.

Autocare UK, the vehicle distribution company, has been bought out of administration by Paragon Automotive, securing the future of 156 jobs in Immingham and 14 in Kirriemuir.

JCT600 is planning to set up a new £5m Porsche centre at the junction of Gelderd Road and Wortley Ring Road in Leeds.

Cannock Chase Council has approved plans for the extension of the ThyssenKrupp automotive panel pressing factory in Cannock, with the creation of up to 100 new jobs.

Bearmach is looking to expand its Land Rover accessories business in Caerphilly, which should involve the acquisition of adjacent land and an increase to the 130-strong workforce.

Arvin Meritor Trailer Systems is planning to relocate its trailer manufacturing operation from Wrexham to its braking systems plant in Cwmbran.

Loders Motor Group, the operator of Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda car dealerships in Dorset and Somerset, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Intier Automotive has won permission to build a 70,000 sq ft automotive mouldings factory at Barton-under-Needwood in Staffordshire by next spring, with the creation of up to 100 jobs.

Jennings, the chain of six Ford, Mazda, Seat, Subaru and Isuzu car dealerships in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Sunderland, Morpeth, Gateshead and Washington, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

INCAT, the design services company with 650 staff and offices in Luton and Bristol, is to be acquired by Tata Motors of India for £53m.

Lookers is to acquire Volvo car dealerships in Glasgow and Hamilton from John Martin Group, and will relocate them to its existing Premier Automotive Group sites in Glasgow and Motherwell next year.

Helphire has acquired Swift Rentacar, the car rental company with 400 vehicles, for £25m.

Ashford Construction has won a £3m contract from St Modwen Properties and Prologis Developments to build an automotive components factory in Burton upon Trent to supply Toyota's Burnaston plant.

Inchcape is looking to expand its car dealership operations into Russia and China by setting up joint ventures.

Lookers has acquired PLP Motors, the operator of Vauxhall and Chevrolet car dealerships in Warrington and Widnes, for £3.2m.

The Driving Standards Agency has awarded a £40m contract to Bluestone to build motorcycle test centres across the country.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has sold MG Rover out of administration to Nanjing of China for about £60m, which is expected to lead to the revival of car production at Longbridge.

Pilkington is to acquire the assets of Autostock Distribution, the US automotive glass distributor with 21 locations.

RMB Automotive is to open a new £1.8m Toyota car and van dealership in Northallerton next month.

Rydale Cars has acquired the former Godfrey Hall BMW dealership in Shrewsbury, and the site has been renamed Rydale Shrewsbury.

Thurlow Nunn has acquired the Warwick Shubrook Group of East Anglia for undisclosed terms, creating a combined group of eight Vauxhall dealerships.

Intermodal Resource is to acquire Taylored Hire, the truck and trailer contract hire company based in the North West, for £1.9m.

Reg Vardy is to acquire five car dealerships from Priory Motor Group for £16m, including a BMW and a Mini site in North Tyneside, Vauxhall sites in Blaydon and Gateshead, and a Kia and Chevrolet dealership in Gateshead.

Ryland Group has acquired the Jeep dealership in Sutton Coldfield from All Electric for undisclosed terms.

Southampton Saab has acquired WhiteQuay, the Saab dealership with sites in Reading and Newbury, for undisclosed terms.

Northgate is to acquire Record Rent, the Spanish vehicle rental company, for up to £95m.

Inchcape Automotive is creating up to 60 new driving jobs at its Autograph Inspect and Collect service.

Zenith Vehicle Contracts, the Leeds-based car leasing company, has undergone a £27m management buy-out backed by Dunedin Capital Partners.

Nationwide has acquired Gemini Accident Repair Centres, the operator of 11 bodyshops in the West Midlands.

Concept Group, the developer of car design technology, is planning to raise up to £6m in a share placing to fund the expansion of its Coventry site and to provide additional working capital.

Kwik-Fit, the car repair company with 670 service centres in the UK and 1,000 in continental Europe, has been acquired by PAI of France for £800m.

Autocare Group, the vehicle distribution company, is planning to open new depots in Glasgow, Avonmouth and Southampton, as part of an expansion programme that will also involve acquisitions and partnerships.

Birkby's Plastics is to recruit up to 25 extra staff at its factory in West Yorkshire, having won a new contract to supply interior trim to Toyota and Honda.

Avis Europe is to raise £110m in a share issue, in order to expand its car rental fleet and fund a restructuring programme.

Paccar is to increase production of DAF trucks at its factory in Leyland, with the creation of 300 new jobs by the end of the year.

Aston Martin is recruiting a further 200 employees, in order to increase production at its two sports car factories in Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire, while the worldwide dealer network will reach about 140 by the end of the year.

European Motor Holdings is to acquire SKF Holdings, the chain of 18 car franchises in the north, for £30m.

Accident Exchange, the vehicle accident management company, has raised £15m in two share placings to fund the expansion of its car fleet and open new depots, and almost 200 additional staff will be recruited over the next 12 months.

Pendragon, the chain of 250 car dealerships, is planning to expand the 550-strong workforce at its Nottinghamshire headquarters to 800 over the next two years, which will involve moving to a new building.

CityCarClub is to raise £1m in a flotation on Ofex to fund the development of the country's first nationwide car-sharing service.

Sandicliffe has acquired the Chevrolet and Mazda franchises in Nottingham from the Gordon Lamb Group, with the transfer of 40 staff.

Lotus is to start manufacturing sports cars abroad for the first time, probably in Malaysia, but production of the Elise model will be increased in Norfolk with the creation of 200 jobs.

Available Car is to expand its used car business in Castle Donington, with the creation of 30 jobs over the next year.

ADR Accident Repair Centres has bought the Gordon Helliwell bodyshop in Pontefract out of receivership.

Advantage West Midlands has awarded a £1.7m grant to Harley-Davidson, the US motorcycles company, to set up a training centre at Bromsgrove North East Worcestershire College.

Audi has confirmed plans to open a £7.5m car dealership and museum at Cardiff Gate Business Park next spring, with the creation of up to 70 jobs.

Sogefi UK is to invest £8m in the expansion of its car components factories in Llantrisant and Tredegar, with the creation of 125 jobs, in order to produce advanced air and oil filtration products.

Lookers has acquired IS Cars, the used car dealer in Burton-upon-Trent, for £12m.

Ricardo has won a contract to provide automotive engineering research capabilities to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which could lead to the recruitment of up to 150 former MG Rover engineers and designers at Leamington Spa.

Subaru UK is to create eight jobs at a new 28-acre car distribution centre being set up near the Port of Sheerness.

Firstline, the Bicester-based automotive components distributor with 90 staff, has undergone a secondary management buy-out from Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity.

JCT600 has acquired the Layerthorpe VW dealership in York and the Priory Park VW dealership in Hull for £10m.

SsangYong Cars UK is planning to double its dealer network by appointing 30 additional outlets, after Mitsui took a 20% stake in the business.

Hendy Group is planning to set up a car dealership on the former Manor Bakeries site in Eastleigh, Hampshire, by 2007.

Soper BMW is seeking permission to build a new £2.5m car dealership in Lincoln, and hopes to relocate 50 staff from its existing site next March.

Honda Logistics is to relocate its Swindon-based parts distribution business to a new 350,000 sq ft warehouse on the South Marston industrial estate by September.

Kia of South Korea is to set up a new £8m vehicle distribution centre near the Humber Sea Terminal at Killingholme, with the creation of up to 300 jobs, in order to relocate its current operation from Sheerness in Kent.

WA Hills has won a £2m contract to build a car dealership for Mercedes-Benz in Chelmsford.

Lexus is planning to expand its chain of car dealerships from 50 to 58 over the next few years.

George White, the motorcycle retailer with six outlets, is planning to set up a new headquarters at the Elgin Industrial Estate in Swindon, with the creation of 15 jobs.

Inchcape has acquired Robert Smith Group, the chain of six Mercedes dealerships and one Smart dealership in the North West, for £18m.

Peugeot has unveiled plans for the £50m redevelopment of its 80-acre Stoke Aldermoor plant in Coventry, including new offices, housing, shops and restaurants.

General Motors has secured a £1.9m government grant to fund the development of a new £15m press shop at its Vauxhall car factory in Ellesmere Port.

Anglesey Council is considering plans for the £5m expansion of the Anglesey motor racing circuit, so that the track can host Formula 3 races.

Mercedes-Benz is to relocate its Plymouth dealership from temporary premises to a new site in Derriford this June.

PDR Construction has won a £2m contract to build a Toyota car dealership for Reeve Burrows in Doncaster.

Toyota is planning to set up a £11m training centre at its main site in Derbyshire, in order to improve skill levels at its car factory.

Williamson Motors is seeking a suitable site to set up a Peugeot car dealership in Hartlepool.

ThyssenKrupp Automotive Tallent Chassis is to invest £13m in the expansion of its car components factory in Newton Aycliffe over the next two years, with the creation of 120 jobs.

John Clark Motor Group is to set up a new £1.5m Audi dealership in Aberdeen, with the creation of ten jobs.

The Automotive Academy is to set up regional training centres in Swindon and Milton Keynes, in order to help improve productivity and skill levels in the motor industry.

Jacksons Group is to invest £2m in the expansion of its Mercedes car dealership in Poole.

Aviva is to acquire RAC, the motoring services group that offers roadside recovery, driving schools and insurance services, for £1.1bn, which will result in the loss of 1,700 jobs and the transfer of back-office functions abroad.

Marshall Motor Group is to expand its Peterborough operation by opening Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo dealerships close to its existing site in Boongate by July.

MG Rover is thought to be planning to shed up to a third of the 6,100 jobs at its Longbridge car factory and Birmingham headquarters, if its joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp receives approval from the Chinese government.

GK Group has acquired County Garage, the operator of CG Ford dealerships in Carlisle, Penrith and Workington with more than 200 staff.

European Motor Holdings has acquired Michael Powles, the owner of Bentley car dealerships in Leicester and Norwich, for £5.2m.

Tech Assemblies has been bought out of administration by a new company called Cu Tech, securing the future of 43 jobs at its automotive components business in Port Talbot.

Ryland is planning to re-enter the contract hire market by setting up a nationwide operation offering specialist and luxury cars.

Storm of Leicester is to relocate its Lotus, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealership and 35 staff to Ravensbridge Drive next month.

Allenbuild has won a £2.5m contract from Audi to build a car showroom in Walton-on-Thames.

Nova RentaCar Reservations is to close its car rental reservation call centre in County Down with the loss of eight jobs, in order to relocate the business to Co Kerry.

BMW is to invest a further £100m at its Mini production plant in Oxford by 2007, with the creation of about 200 jobs.

Donington Park, the Leicestershire-based motor racing circuit, is to undergo a £5m refurbishment this year, including new pits and paddock buildings.

Budget Rent-A-Car is looking to expand its nationwide rental network with new sites in Scotland, Nottingham, Leicester and Portsmouth.

Aquilo has acquired ABS Bodyshop Services, the Cheshire-based network of accident repair bodyshops with 240 repairers and 60 head office staff, for £1.7m.

LFPV, the Warwick-based supplier of special vehicles, has been sold by Extend Reach Corporation of Denmark to Conrico International.

Dutton Forshaw has acquired two VW car dealerships in Lancashire from Fairways, as well as a Chrysler Jeep site in Canterbury from Motorway Sportscars and two northern Citroen car dealerships from Squiregate Motors.

Vickers Pressings of Newcastle is to merge with Tolwood of Newton Aycliffe to create a combined automotive parts manufacturer called Vickers Pressings Tolwood Automotive, and the combined workforce is expected to grow from 370 to 500.

GKN has acquired the remaining 51% of Velcon, the Mexican manufacturer of automotive parts with 640 staff, from joint venture partner Desc for £44m.

Nissan has confirmed plans to manufacture a new family car at its factory in Sunderland, which should create 200 new jobs and secure 1,000 existing jobs.

Lookers has acquired Bristol Trade Centre, the four-acre used car supermarket in Bristol, for £8.5m.

Daihatsu is looking to open car dealerships in Edinburgh, Lancaster, Slough and west London this year, to add to the existing 126 sites.

Vanguard Rental has secured a financing arrangement worth more than £2.3bn to fund the expansion of its vehicle hire operations in the UK and Germany over the next three years.

Adonis Construction has won a £3.2m contract to build the country's largest Porsche showroom in Hatfield.

Jordan Grand Prix, the Formula One motor racing team, is to be acquired by Midland Group for undisclosed terms.

John Grose Group has acquired the car sales operation of AG Potter in Framlingham, Suffolk.

Carter & Carter is planning to acquire the AA's technical services operation for undisclosed terms, including 100 staff and a motor industry training facility in Leicestershire.

Lets Drive, the Billingham-based driver training company with 55 staff, has been bought out of administration by LVG of Brighton for undisclosed terms.

Ricardo is creating up to 20 new jobs at its car controls business in Cambridge, with the addition of new laboratory space and offices.

APL Technologies has acquired Auto Effects out of administration, safeguarding about 40 jobs, and the Bicester automotive painting operation may relocate to a larger site.

Futaba of Japan is in talks with Conder Developments about plans to set up a 225,000 sq ft automotive bodies factory at Dove Valley Park in south Derbyshire, with the creation of 200 jobs.

Caterham Cars, the sports car company, has been acquired by private equity firm Corven Ventures for undisclosed terms.

Northgate is planning to open 24 new van rental centres across the country over the next 15 months, taking the total to 100.

Greenhous Group, the Shropshire-based chain of five car dealerships, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Stoneacre is to open a Suzuki car dealership alongside its Kia dealership in Middlesbrough with the creation of 20 jobs, to replace the former South Cleveland Garages site.