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Motor - 2006






















Dennis Eagle, the Warwick-based refuse truck manufacturer with 580 staff at eight sites, has been acquired by Ros Roca of Spain for an estimated £102m.

Goodyear Dunlop is investing £3m in new equipment at its tyre factory in Wolverhampton, in order to improve efficiency and secure the long-term future of the 350-strong workforce.

Inchcape is to acquire European Motor Holdings for £263m, in order to expand its car dealership presence in northern England and in premium brands.

Aquilo is to sell Aquilo Motor Services, the Northwich-based provider of motor claims management services, to Nationwide Accident Repair Services for £1.3m.

Autocruise, the South Yorkshire-based motorhome manufacturer with 140 staff, has undergone a £13m management buy-out backed by private equity investor Inflexion.

Treadsetters is planning to expand the workforce at its Telford-based tyre wholesaling business from 18 to 33, having won a £7m contract from Yongthai of China.

Taggarts is increasing its workforce from 36 to more than 100, following a £4m investment in the expansion of its Glasgow-based car dealership.

Platts Garage is to open a £2m expansion at its car dealership in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, early next year, with the creation of about 30 jobs.

Chrysler Group is setting up a new national fleet sales team based in Milton Keynes, in order to increase its share of the corporate market.

Blackburn Brakes, the Blackburn-based car parts supplier with branches in Accrington and Clitheroe, has undergone a management buy-out.

Europcar is to acquire the European operations of Vanguard Car Rental for £448m, including the Alamo and National brands.

Modec is to set up a 52,000 sq ft factory in Coventry to make up to 5,000 electric urban delivery vans per year from early 2007.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is planning to create 200 jobs at its luxury cars factory in Goodwood, following a rise in demand for the Phantom model.

Norscot Truck & Van has acquired G Mutch Mechanical Services, the vehicle parts and services company with 30 staff in Dundee and Perth, for undisclosed terms.

Lookers has acquired two Kia car dealerships in Macclesfield and Stockport.

Inchcape is to create dozens of jobs at a new Toyota and Lexus car dealership due to open at Pride Park in Derby in December.

Just Car Clinics has bought two car accident repair businesses from the Ilkeston Consumer Co-operative Society for £0.2m, including sites in Ilkeston and Grantham.

Hutchings HQ is to relocate its Vauxhall car dealership from Tonypandy to a new £2m site in Treforest next February.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has sold FP&S out of administration to TTD, securing the future of 211 jobs at the Norfolk-based vehicle parts and services business.

The Driving Standards Agency is to set up a new 55,000 sq ft office at the Axis scheme in Nottingham, due to a shortage of space at its existing regional office in nearby Talbot Street.

Streetcar is to raise £7m of private equity to fund the expansion of its car ownership business.

Rybrook Holdings has acquired three Mercedes-Benz North Yorkshire car dealerships in York, Harrogate and Scarborough for undisclosed terms, including 180 staff.

Gills Cables is to relocate its automotive cables factory from Lichfield to Tamworth in January, with the loss of about 100 of the 130 jobs.

Reflex, the Teesside-based vehicle rental firm, is planning to expand its vehicle fleet from 3,000 to 10,000 and create 20 new jobs across the country over the next three years.

Bolton Council is to consider plans from the Williams Group for the development of a new £10m BMW and Mini car dealership in Raikes Lane, and 110 staff will relocate from the existing site.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled plans to produce a smaller model at its luxury car factory near Chichester, which could create hundreds of jobs.

Honda has announced plans to expand production at its car factory in Swindon from 190,000 to 250,000 a year in 2007, with the creation of 700 jobs.

Accident Exchange is to raise £13m in a share placing to fund the development of its West Midlands-based accident management business.

Howard Basford has bought Gateway Autos, the Manchester-based bodyshop, out of administration for undisclosed terms.

Just Car Clinics has bought Parsons Accident Repair Centre of Hartlepool out of administration, securing the future of 26 jobs.

Ilkeston Co-op Motor Group has sold a Citroen, Mazda and Seat car dealership in Lincoln to Advantage Motor Group of Mansfield, and six of the site's 90 jobs will be lost.

British Car Auctions, the network of 40 auction sites, is expected to be acquired by buy-out group Montagu for £450m.

Carcraft is planning to relocate its Rochdale-based second-hand car supermarket and head office, including 500 staff, to the new Kingsway Business Park in 2008.

BMW is investing £200m in the expansion of Mini production in Oxford, Swindon and Birmingham, twice the amount previously announced, while a further £40m will be invested in components factories by three suppliers - HBPO, Intier Automotive and Faurecia.

Nissan is to invest £223m at its Sunderland factory to manufacture the Qashqai sports utility vehicle, with the creation of 200 temporary jobs.

Sytner has acquired nine DaimlerChrysler and BMW car dealerships from Ryland Group for undisclosed terms, including sites in Carlisle, Newcastle, Stockton, Sunderland, Birmingham, Warley, Cardiff, Newport and Sutton Coldfield.

Nissan is to expand the trainee recruitment programme for its car factory in Sunderland, with the creation of up to 100 new jobs.

Hillendale Land Rover, the Lancashire-based car dealership, has undergone a management buy-out.

Futaba Industrial is planning to create up to 700 jobs at its automotive bodies factory in South Derbyshire over the next five years, which will involve the development of a new factory at its site in Foston.

Inchcape is to acquire a 75% stake in the Axel Car Toyota and Lexus dealership in Russia for up to £38m.

Toyota has won approval from Nottingham City Council for its plans to set up a £10m automotive training centre at Highfields.

West Wallasey Car Hire is to set up a new headquarters at Cross Lane in the Wirral, with the creation of 60 new jobs over the next 12 months.

Sinclair Group is to set up a 2.7-acre Mercedes-Benz car dealership at the Cardiff Gate International Business Park by March 2007, employing more than 100 staff.

Enza Group, the Warrington-based Mercedes-Benz truck dealership with outlets in Manchester and Stoke, has undergone a £5m management buy-out.

ASL Systems, the Gateshead-based automotive wiring systems manufacturer with 100 staff, has been bought out of administration by Motherson Sumi Systems of India.

Lookers has acquired a further ten car dealerships in the South East from HR Owen for up to £25m, including Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler Jeep, Lexus and Land Rover sites.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is looking to expand the workforce at its luxury car factory near Chichester, subject to securing council permission for a night shift.

Bell Truck Sales has acquired the Pearsons Mitsubishi car dealership at Longbenton, Tyneside, for undisclosed terms, including 23 staff.

Pendragon has pledged to retain the recently-acquired Reg Vardy headquarters in Sunderland, securing the future of 300 jobs and leading to the possible creation of up to 200 new jobs.

Prodrive has secured planning permission from Warwick District Council for the £100m expansion of its motorsport site near Balsall Common, including new offices, design studios, research laboratories and a conference centre.

Howard Basford has acquired the Roberts & Ellis accident repair business in Mold for undisclosed terms, taking its chain of bodyshop sites to eight.

Valeo Cooling Systems is to set up a new car parts factory at the Commerce Business Park on Wearside in December, with the creation of 60 jobs.

HR Owen has sold three Audi car dealerships in Finchley Road, Hatfield and Whetstone to a management buy-out operating under the name of Spire Automotive for £4.7m.

Frost Cars has acquired the City Vauxhall car dealership in Chichester from City Motor Holdings for undisclosed terms.

Pentagon Group has acquired the New Crown Sharpes Vauxhall car dealership in Nottingham.

Stephen James has acquired three BMW and two Mini car dealerships in the South East from the Whitehouse Group for undisclosed terms.

LDV, the Birmingham-based van manufacturer with 850 staff, has been acquired by Gaz Group of Russia for £50m.

Premier Farnell is to sell KENT, its automotive consumables business, to Barnes Group of the US for £22m.

The National Assembly for Wales has offered £10m of support to the Project Kimber consortium to set up a £50m factory to produce versions of the Smart two-seater car in South Wales, with the creation of an initial 150 jobs.

Honda is considering plans to introduce an extra shift at its car factory in Swindon early next year, with the creation of about 500 jobs.

Carter & Carter is seeking permission to set up a 90,000 sq ft motor industry training centre in Derby for DaimlerChrysler by August 2007, with the creation of up to 100 jobs.

Nanjing Automobile Corporation has announced plans to assemble 15,000 MG TF sports cars a year at Longbridge in Birmingham, and the initial £10m investment will create up to 200 jobs by next year.

Ford is to invest up to £1bn in vehicle fuel efficiency research at sites in Coventry, Gaydon and Dunton over the next six years.

Autoquake has secured a £3.2m investment from Accel Partners to fund the expansion of its online car auctioning business.

John Grose Group has acquired the assets of former MG Rover franchisee RC Edmondson out of administration for undisclosed terms, including sites in Ipswich and Woodbridge.

Aston Martin is to relocate sports car production and up to 100 jobs from Newport Pagnell to its Gaydon factory in Warwickshire early next year.

Toyota Tsusho is to relocate its Derby-based car parts distribution business and up to 100 jobs to Castle Donington next year, with the creation of up to 100 new jobs over the next five years.

Taylor & Whiteley, the Huddersfield-based manufacturer of car turbo chargers with 70 staff, has been acquired by VTL Holdings for undisclosed terms.

Custom Fleet, the Carlisle-based car leasing company with 60 staff, is to be acquired by GE Commercial Finance of the US, prompting speculation that it could be combined with the Manchester site of GE Fleet Services UK.

Peugeot is to build a new 110,000 sq ft corporate headquarters and 60,000 sq ft technical centre at its Stoke Works site in Coventry by the end of next year.

Advantage West Midlands is looking to set up a "motor city" near Coventry over the next two years, in order to house up to 30 companies and boost the region's car industry.

Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration has announced that three car dealerships are planning to set up showrooms at Trentham Lakes, including Audi, Bristol Street and Telford Motor Auctions.

Chapelhouse Motors has acquired the West Coast Saab and Hyundai car dealership in Southport for undisclosed terms.

TVR has decided to relocate its sports car factory to a new site in Blackpool, securing the future of most of the 260 jobs.

Cobra Automotive is to create up to 28 jobs at its car trim and safety components factory in Shropshire, having won a new order from Volvo.

European Motor Holdings has acquired a Land Rover car dealership in St Helens from Hartwell for £0.5m.

Snows Motor Group is to set up a new £8m Toyota and Lexus car dealership at Hedge End in Hampshire by the end of the year.

Millhouse Audi is seeking permission to relocate its Bath car dealership to the new Bath Business Park on the A367 in summer 2007.

Ness Motors has acquired a Renault dealership with 31 staff in Perth for undisclosed terms.

Umeco is to acquire Aerodyne Advanced Composites, the South African automotive composites manufacturer with 130 staff, for an initial £1.5m.

Morrell Products has bought VT Technology, the automotive sound insulation manufacturer with 144 staff at sites in Chesterfield and Loughborough, out of administration for undisclosed terms.

Nationwide Accident Repair Services is planning to expand its chain of 69 vehicle accident repair centres, following a share placing on Aim that values the business at £50m.

The Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) has announced that Nanjing Automobile Corporation of China has started recruiting 400 workers to resume car production at Longbridge.

Sytner is to set up Lamborghini car dealerships at temporary sites in Edinburgh and Birmingham, with purpose-built showrooms opening later in the year.

Omron Automotive is to create 100 new jobs at its automotive electronics factory in Kingswinford over the next few weeks.

Mr Clutch is planning to expand its network of 40 car servicing centres with 14 new sites over the next two years.

Avon Rubber is to sell its automotive components business to a management buy-out backed by Red Diamond Capital for £63m, and has also announced plans to shed about 100 jobs at its site in Wiltshire.

Swan Street Motors has been bought out of administration by the Wests Garage Group, securing the future of 29 of the 56 jobs at its Renault car dealership in King's Lynn.

EurotaxGlass, the automotive data supplier, has undergone a £325m management buy-out backed by Candover.

Carter & Carter has acquired Remit, the motor industry training company, from the Retail Motor Industry Federation for £25m, in order to expand its government-funded apprenticeship programmes for automotive technicians.

Inchcape is to acquire Lind Automotive Group, the car dealership with 21 retail sites in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, for £71m.

Unipart Automotive is to expand its automotive parts supply business in Scotland with the creation of 20 jobs.

Accident Exchange Group has acquired DCML, the provider of software solutions to the automotive industry, for up to £12m, and has also announced the development of a new headquarters and distribution centre in Coleshill.

Advantage West Midlands is in talks with the Project Kimber consortium and Access Capital about the possibility of reviving production of the Healey sports car in Coventry, which could create 200 jobs.

Aviva has sold the vehicle solutions businesses of RAC to VT Group for £87m, including Lex Transfleet, Lex Defence, Lex Defence Management and RAC Software Solutions.

AP Hydraulics of Leamington Spa has been bought out of administration by Caparo Braking, securing the future of 170 jobs in its automotive braking systems business.

Ford is planning to relocate up to 1,300 staff from its 200,000 sq ft Trafford House headquarters in Basildon to nearby Dunton or Warley, in order to sell off the site for redevelopment.

Carmasters, the Bridlington-based car valeting and repair services company, has been bought out of receivership by a management team, securing the future of 75 jobs.

Scot Group has acquired Flightform, the franchise holder for Dollar and Thrifty, creating a network of 90 car hire outlets trading as Dollar Thrifty UK.

WhizzGo has secured £0.25m of venture capital to help fund the nationwide expansion of its pay-as-you-go car hire business, starting with new sites in Brighton and Liverpool and the creation of 19 jobs.

Schrader Electronics, the manufacturer of tyre pressure monitor gauges for the motor industry, is to create 100 new jobs at its factory in Carrickfergus, having secured £3.5m of funding from Invest NI.

Williamson Motors has acquired a Citroen car dealership in Darlington from Springfield for £1m, with the transfer of 22 staff.

Finance Cornwall has provided financial assistance to Adrenaline Motorsport for the development of a low-volume sports car manufacturing facility in Newquay, and the first car will be unveiled in June.

Remit, the motor industry training organisation, is to open three new training centres in Leeds, Coventry and Bristol this year, and its Scottish operation will relocate to a site near Glasgow.

National Tyres is planning to expand its chain of 206 sites to 400 over the next few years by acquiring independent garages across the country.

Chevrolet is looking to expand its UK network of car dealerships from 90 to 120.

Wagon is to acquire Oxford Automotive, the automotive metal components supplier with 3,300 staff in France, Germany and Turkey, for £128m.

Pendragon has sold five Reg Vardy Volkswagen car dealerships in Leicester, Redditch, Stafford, Stourbridge and Wolverhampton to Volkswagen Group UK.

Prodrive is looking to set up a new motorsport factory and research centre in Kenilworth, and the 200-acre site could eventually house a new Formula One team.

P1, the prestige car club, is planning to set up a regional base in the north, and is considering two possible sites in Alderley Edge and Holmes Chapel.

Green Tyre Company, the Middlesbrough-based manufacturer of puncture-proof tyres, has been bought out of administration by a new company called Flat Free Tyres.

St Modwen Properties has agreed to lease part of the former MG Rover Longbridge site in Birmingham to Nanjing Auto of China, which is expected to lead to production of MG sports cars restarting in 2007 and up to 1,000 new jobs.

Aviva has sold Lex Commercial, Lex Auto Logistics, Lex Fleetserve and Lex Multipart Defence to Imperial Holdings of South Africa for £50m, which will involve the transfer of 1,300 staff.

Coleg Gwent is to spend £110m revamping its six campuses in Abergavenny, Newport, Usk, Pontypool, Crosskeys and Ebbw Vale, including the development of a motor industry training centre just off the M4.

Nationwide Autocentres, the chain of 220 car servicing centres, has been acquired by Phoenix Equity Partners for £47m.

Micheldever Tyres, the Winchester-based tyre distributor with 550 staff, has undergone a management buy-out backed by Graphite Capital.

Pendragon has agreed to acquire the Reg Vardy chain of car dealerships for £506m.

Northern Racing has been selected as preferred bidder to operate the Silverstone motor racing circuit, which could lead to a £600m redevelopment of the site by developer St Modwen.

Sytner has agreed to acquire the William Jacks chain of car dealerships in the south-east for £10m.

Northgate has acquired Arriva Vehicle Rental, the commercial vehicle and car rental company with 655 staff at 33 branches, from Arriva for £129m.

Bevan Motor Bodies is to reorganise its Oldbury-based rigid body vehicles business, which will involve expanding the workforce from 160 to 200 and investing £2m in a new three-acre site for its Welford Thomas operation in Dudley.

Northgate has acquired FTL, the Gateshead-based vehicle fleet management company, for £5.7m.

European Motor Holdings has sold five car franchises in south Manchester to RRG Group for £13m, including Smith Knight Fay Holdings' three Toyota businesses, one Lexus business and one Mazda franchise.

Hymer UK is currently investing £3.5m in the expansion of its motorhome dealership in Preston, and expects to create a "substantial" number of jobs this year.

East of England Co-operative Society is to sell its Peugeot and Vauxhall car dealerships in Colchester and Sudbury to Underwoods Motor Group.

British Car Auctions is planning to open new sites in Germany, Spain and France, and will also start hosting sales in Poland and Hungary before setting up its own sites.

Lex Auto Logistics and Chorley Council have announced plans to develop a 100-acre site at Buckshaw Village, which will involve the relocation of 200 Lex staff to a new warehouse and office.

Carter & Carter, the car industry training company, is to relocate its headquarters and up to 50 jobs from Peterborough to its recently-acquired EMTEC site in Ruddington, Notts.

Classic Car Club of Edinburgh is planning to open a site in Glasgow later this year.

Hendy Group has acquired the Hiltingbury Mazda car dealership in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, for undisclosed terms.

Switch Car, the Merseyside-based car dealership with 70 staff, has been acquired by Rochdale-based UK Car Group.

Stokes Forgings, the car parts manufacturer with 240 staff in Dudley and Walsall, has been acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra of India for undisclosed terms.