Stoneacre Motor Group has continued to drive past its former £1 billion turnover growth target with the acquisition of the Hodgson Newcastle car dealership group.

The AM100 retail group told AM that the acquisition had been postponed following the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus but was completed last week under the deal’s initial terms.

“A handshake between the Stoneacre chairman Richard Teatum and Stephen Hodgson was sufficient to ensure the original deal continued once the lockdown had been lifted,” the group said.

Stoneacre has acquired a 100% share of the £76.8 million turnover (2018) Hodgson business with the transaction, adding the Toyota franchise to its list of OEM brands as it assumes ownership of the group’s Mazda, Suzuki and Toyota dealerships at Silverlink Newcastle and Mazda and Toyota facilities at Gateshead.

Stoneacre managing director, Shaun Foweather, said: “For almost 30 years Steve has operated a business in the Newcastle area and developed a great reputation with customers and has a very high level of staff loyalty.

Stoneacre Motor Group managing director Shaun Foweather “Steve has left his business in great shape and creates a fantastic opportunity for Stoneacre to grow the business further.

“We are excited to welcome Toyota as a new franchise partner and look forward to further opportunities with the brand very soon.

“The acquisition adds a further two Mazda outlets to our existing three and a further Suzuki outlet further extending our lead as the biggest Suzuki dealer in the UK with 11.

“I would like to thank our Mazda and Suzuki partners for their continued support.”

Foweather added: “We retain all of the existing team and intend to provide them with full head office support, training through the Stoneacre Training Academy and full integration into the Stoneacre Culture to ensure that customer satisfaction is further enhanced under the Stoneacre brand.

“I would like to wish Steve a happy and fulfilling retirement and welcome the Hodgson team into the Stoneacre family.”

Stoneacre Motor Group, currently 15th position in the AM100 for revenue, now employs a team of more than 2,800 employees.

The retail group represents Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Citroen, Fiat, Fiat Commercial, Ford, Ford Commercial, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault and Dacia, Seat, Suzuki, Vauxhall and Volvo together with Harley Davidson and Triumph Motorcycles.

With latest revenues to April 2020 just short of £1 billion, Stoneacre told AM that it is positioned well to continue to grow further by controlled acquisition.

The business, which represents 26 manufacturer partners in 59 locations with 120 franchised outlets including 2 Harley Davidson and 1 Triumph franchise in 10 Counties and Clwyd North Wales has had a year of consolidation after its acquisitions in previous years.

Further performance improvements are expected next year by continuing to recruit staff and provide training through the AM Awards-winning Stoneacre Training Academy.

Back in April Stoneacre's directors vowed to forego their salaries after taking the decision to furlough 3,000 employees due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic – stating that they would not to take a wage until the business “returns to profitability”.

Commenting on the business’ post-lockdown recovery this week, Foweather said: “We, as with the majority of motor dealers, suffered major losses during the three-month lockdown.

“However since re-opening our teams have delivered strong results every day, our loyal customers have been returning in unprecedented numbers which is a testament to the strength, ability and loyalty of our team and the ability of the Stoneacre brand to deliver a consistent, transparent and fair deal to our ever growing customer database.”