Group 1 Automotive appoints Mark Bridgland as UK managing director – AM Online

Group 1 Automotive has promoted its director of operations Mark Bridgland to the post of managing director – ending 22 months without an MD.

The US-based AM100 car retail group has been without an MD since Darren Guiver departed to "take time away from the business” in November 2019.

Now 39-year-old Bridgland will take the helm, assuming responsibility for the company’s human resources, finance and other support functions in the UK in addition to oversight of dealership operations.

Pendragon’s £33m profits deliver ‘good momentum’ ahead of H2's challenges – AM Online

Pendragon chief executive Bill Berman has said that an anticipated £33 million underlying first-half pre-tax profit will give the car retail PLC “good momentum” for H2 2022. A trading update published via the London Stock Exchange this morning (July 20) revealed that the group expects its profitability to decline by around 5.9%, despite its strong start to the year, however.

The AM100 group said its performance had been offset by an increase in underlying operating costs of approximately £20m, including an £8.3m impact from the removal of government support, a £7m increase in marketing costs as it relaunched its CarStore used car retail division and wider inflationary cost pressures.

The period to June 30 saw Pendragon’s Car Store operations grow with a CarStore Experience Centre concept in Chesterfield and an expanded network of small-scale Car Store Direct retail sites at Homebase stores and Morrisons supermarkets across the UK.

Vertu Motors invests £1m in second of four new Toyota dealerships in Scotland – AM Online

Vertu Motors has begun work to transform its Ford dealership in Hamilton into the second of four new showroom facilities for franchise partner Toyota in Scotland.

The AM100 PLC took over the Japanese carmaker’s franchise on the West of Scotland from Arnold Clark in April this year and is now following up its first opening, at Darnley, South Glasgow, with the creation of a new retail space for Macklin Motors operation in the South Lanarkshire town.

Five new job roles will be created as the Whistleberry Road dealership is transformed from its previous guise as a Ford dealership into a Toyota business due to open next month.

Snows launches new online leasing platform, Snows Direct – Motor Trader

Snows has announced the launch of its brand-new online leasing platform Snows Direct. Snows Direct has been created in partnership with Wessex Fleet Solutions Ltd, one of the UK’s leading Leasing and Fleet Management providers.

Snows Direct allows customers to search for their ideal car, agree the finance and servicing package and even add GAP and Smart Protect insurance from a laptop, tablet or even a mobile in one dedicated online location, without ever needing to set foot in a dealership.

“Our ‘Click & Go’ platform delivered soaring sales results in used car sales during the second lockdown. And this success was boosted the by £99 deposit campaign, which we originally launched back in August 2019.

Lookers appoints Costas Evlambiou as Volkswagen Battersea general manager – AM Online

Lookers has promoted Costas Evlambiou to the position of general manager at its Volkswagen Battersea car dealership.

The former general sales manager at Lookers Volkswagen Guildford recently moved recently to the central London dealership in a period that has seen the outlet “go from strength to strength”, Lookers said, with monthly used car sales up almost 30% since the start of this year.

Lookers said sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have also accelerated since last year and now account for around a third of all new car sales at the dealership.