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page 36 July 2009 AME

NewsBy Tim Rose The eve of 2012 was marked by expansions of several small dealer groups, in a sign of the consolidation opportunities the current market conditions offer.And larger groups remain poised to capitalise on those same opportunities. Sytner's owner Penske Automotive Group has gained a £110 million credit facility from the Royal Bank of Scotland and BMW Financial Services that will be used in the UK for working capital, acquisi­tions and capital expenditures. Richard Sanders Group has bought a dealership in Northampton from W Grose which it will open as a Citroën franchise next month.The Cliftonville Road site, neighbouring a BMW and Mini dealership, had been a satellite opera­tion to W Grose's larger Vauxhall dealership in the town. It will become the first Citroën business for family-owned Richard Sanders Group, which already has Honda, Nissan, Peugeot and Renault dealerships in Kettering, some 15 miles away.Managing director Richard Sanders said 14 staff will transfer from W Grose, taking his workforce up to 90 in total, and turnover is expected to increase to £35m.He added: "We are delighted to have completed the purchase of the W Grose dealership in Clift­onville Road, our first dealership in Northampton."After a refurbishment, the dealership will open in February 2012 representing the Citroën fran­chise and also include a wide selection of used cars."Hartwell has bought the former Crossroads Garage Renault dealership in Kidlington on the northern edge of Oxford. The move takes the number of Hartwell sites in the Oxfordshire area up to six, representing eight brands.Managing director Kevin Godfrey sees the new Renault business as a major addition to the company's brand portfolio."Hartwell is investing substantially in the local business community in Oxfordshire and we look forward to working closely with Renault car owners."We would like to welcome back past and present Renault customers in Oxford to Hart­well, where they will no doubt recognise some friendly, familiar faces."Hartwell confirmed that it will be investing further in the Kidlington facility by adding new brands in 2012.The company will take on existing staff from Crossroads Garage. Brindley Garages in the West Midlands has expanded with the opening of its second Hyundai dealership.The purpose-built showroom sits alongside its Small dealer groups seize expansion opportunitesBusiness acquisitions are a sign of the consolidation opportunities the current market offers'It is a perfect time to be joining Hyundai. It is one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the UK'Robin Brindley, Brindley Garages