Harrogate based Meridian Motor Group has taken the first steps to extend its ‘Vantage’ brand beyond the Toyota marque following the acquisition of central Manchester’s only Hyundai dealership.
The deal brings the total number of dealerships in the group’s Vantage brand to seven and is the first time the business which launched in 2003, has extended its offering outside Toyota.
With its head office in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, Meridian Motor Group is owned and operated by local resident Mark Robinson. Despite the difficult trading conditions affecting the industry, has secured continued growth and strong profitability year on year since launch. Vantage Toyota Centres are now located in Knaresborough York, Scarborough, Blackburn, Colne and Preston.
Although still relatively young, the business has an ambitious growth strategy and in 2007 purchased three Vantage Toyota Centres in Lancashire to add to its three Toyota Centres in Yorkshire. In 2007 it rebranded all dealerships under the Vantage name including the site in Knaresborough which was previously known as Knaresborough Toyota.
The new Vantage dealership in Manchester will be called Vantage Hyundai Manchester and Vantage will be making a significant investment to upgrade the site, support the rebrand and launch with a local marketing campaign. The acquisition means further growth for this local business and also herald the creation of at least one new job in the Harrogate area as the head office strengthens its support staff.
Meridian’s Managing Director, Mark Robinson, said:
“I am delighted to welcome the new dealership to the Vantage family. From our base in Harrogate and Knaresborough we have made a significant step to grow the business into new markets whilst continuing to support our home community with initiatives like joining Saint Michael’s Hospice Guild of Patrons. As an independent family owned company with the outlook and business processes normally associated with a major PLC, we are able to give our customers a much more personal service than other dealerships whilst maintaining the security, prestige and standards associated with the global Toyota and Hyundai brands.”
“Customers will see a number of benefits from the deal including a greater choice of used stock as well as physical improvements to the dealership and Vantage’s commitment to continually improving customer service.”
Commenting on the deal, Meridian Chairman and local resident, Phil White CBE, said:
“This latest acquisition represents a very attractive opportunity and by diversifying into new areas and new marques we will be able to target new customers and capitalise on Hyundai’s rapid growth and increasing popularity, which saw global sales for May increase by 13.6 percent*.”
The dealership was acquired from Hyundai UK for an undisclosed sum. Lawyers Ian Gilbert and Judith Pike from solicitors Walker Morris acted for Meridian Motor Group in the deal.