Meridian targets £200m turnover with dealership

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Meridian Motor Group said its turnover will increase to more than £200m a year thanks to plans to build a flagship Hyundai dealership in Greater Manchester, which will create over 25 jobs.

Knaresborough-based Meridian said it plans to spend £2.5m on building a state of the art car dealership in Stockport, which will be the company’s tenth acquisition in 10 years.

Trading under Meridian’s Vantage brand, work on the new dealership will begin later this month with a completion date scheduled for summer 2014.

Located next to the M60 motorway, the site will be Vantage’s biggest Hyundai dealership and will feature a ten-car showroom, an eight-bay workshop and space for 60 used cars.

In addition to its Stockport plans, Meridian has also received planning permission to build a new ten-car showroom in Preston. Work is expected to start in December with the new dealership expected to open in the late spring, creating ten new jobs.

Meridian is investing around £5m developing its four Hyundai dealerships in Salford, Stockport, Oldham and Preston.

Meridian’s managing director Mark Robinson said: “It’s been a remarkable year for Meridian and the Stockport acquisition is part of the final stage of a planned but rapid phase of growth that has seen us develop a significant Hyundai presence in Greater Manchester in under two years.

“I am extremely pleased to be able to start work on our Stockport Centre and to be able to bring new jobs and investment to the area as well as further developing our relationship with a great brand.”

He said that as soon as two more planned acquisitions are complete, the business needs to enter a phase of consolidation to ensure that it is able to maintain its focus on customer service.

“However if the right opportunities develop, we won’t rule out further acquisitions in the future as long as they add value to the business,” he added.

Tony Whitehorn, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK, said: “When the two sites open, they will offer the highest levels of customer satisfaction in terms of sales and also service and after sales support.”

Meridian was advised on the acquisitions by Judith Pike and her team from law firm Walker Morris. David Chittenden of Colliers International advised on the property aspects and Indigo Planning managed the planning process.

Meridian counts Toyota, Lexus, Kia, Honda and Hyundai among its key brands.

The group was founded in 2003 by Mr Robinson with the purchase of two Toyota centres, in Knaresborough and York. The business opened its first Hyundai dealership in Salford in 2011 and now has 17 dealerships in total. Meridian has more than doubled annual turnover over the past year.