New chief executive revealed for Marshall Motor Group

The new chief executive of AM100 car dealer Marshall Motor Group has been revealed to be Pendragon veteran Martin Casha.

Casha will leave Pendragon, where he is chief operating officer, in November this year to lead Marshall, which was acquired by Constellation Automotive in 2022 - a move which was accompanied by the exit of Marshall's high profile chief executive Daksh Gupta.

In a statement today Pendragon revealed that Casha, who co-steered the one-time biggest UK motor retail alongside Trevor Finn after it was split off from Williams plc in 1989 with just 19 dealerships, will not be replaced and his reporting lines will be redistributed across Pendragon's senior leadership team.

Casha said: "I have been very fortunate to have enjoyed a fantastic career at Pendragon. It has been a privilege to be part of a first-class organisation and I would like to thank the team that I have had the pleasure of working with. I wish them every success for the future."


Sinclair Group to represent GWM ORA UK at Swansea site

GWM ORA UK has announced a new partnership with Sinclair Group. The brand will launch initially with one site in Swansea.

GWM ORA UK has announced six new retail group partnerships this year already and is on track to achieve a total of 20 full sales sites by the end of 2023.

Toby Marshall, managing director, GWM ORA UK, said: “As a new entrant to the UK market, it is important that we ensure consumers have the right introduction to the GWM ORA brand. Our network strategy is centred around working with established and trusted retail partners that can deliver exceptional levels of service. As Wales’ largest automotive retailer, Sinclair Group is a fantastic partner to have on-board and I look forward to working closely with the team in Swansea.”

Andy Sinclair, managing director, Sinclair Group added: “We’re delighted to welcome GWM ORA to the Sinclair Group portfolio. The brand’s first model, ORA Funky Cat, offers fantastic looks, a premium interior and amazing value that we think customers across Wales will love. As of today, our first site in Swansea is now live and the team is ready to deliver exceptional sales and service support to all GWM ORA customers and the unrivalled retail experience that the Group has become renowned for in representing our other marques.”


Stellantis UK boss Paul Willcox to retire from carmaker next month

In a letter sent to Stellantis’s dealer network today and leaked to Car Dealer, Willcox, 59, said he hadn’t made the decision to leave lightly.

‘This was not an easy decision as I will be sorry to be departing such a committed and professional team as we have in the UK.

‘I want to thank you all for the support that you have given me both in my previous position of Vauxhall MD and more recently UK group MD.’

He added: ‘I am looking forward to spending time relaxing with my family and friends after such a long and interesting career which started with Peugeot in 1988 and finished with my return to the group in recent years.’

Since starting his automotive career at the French carmaker in 1988, Willcox has held senior roles at Nissan and Volkswagen before joining Stellantis’s predecessor, Groupe PSA, in July 2019 as head of the Eurasia region.


Stellantis reorganises Distrigo parts network to include all brands

Stellantis is reorganising its Distrigo parts network across Europe and the UK and will now distribute parts across the full breadth of the group’s brands.

Distrigo has one national warehouse, 20 hubs and 67 Relay and market trade parts outlets in the UK and previously stocked Citroen, DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall, but as of July 1 will now also stock Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep and Lancia.

A spokesperson for Stellantis confirmed to AM that Maserati's parts distribution will remain separate in the UK.

The parts distribution business has 148 locations across Europe and is hoping to scale up to 100 locations in the UK before the end of 2023.

It means Stellantis authorised repairers and independent repairers will now be able to order genuine parts and accessories from 11 Stellantis Brands, along with the multi-brand Eurorepar range, the Sustainera circular economy parts and supplier ranges from Distrigo parts distributors.


TrustFord opens new dealership in Carlisle

TrustFord has opened its new dealership in Carlisle. Mike Bell was promoted internally to the role of general manager.

The new site also includes a seven-bay EV equipped aftersales workshop.

TrustFord’s Mobile Service operation, which already operates in the area, allows a qualified Ford technician to visit customers who would prefer to have their vehicle serviced at their home or workplace.

Stuart Mustoe, chief executive officer of TrustFord, said: “At TrustFord we’re always looking for ways to drive the standard in customer care and that’s why we’re investing across our network. The opening of our site in Carlisle is an important milestone for us and represents our desire to bring the TrustFord experience to more customers. I would like to thank our colleagues who worked so hard to get the site ready to open.”


Swansway launches new car-buying service as it looks to meet demands of modern customers

The new ‘Sell 2 Swansway’ website was devised by bosses at the Car Dealer Top 100 group as part of a bid to meet the demands of modern consumers.

The platform allows sellers to get a valuation on their vehicle is just 60 seconds, by simply enterring their car’s reg number and mileage.

The valuation is then guaranteed for one week to allow them to make a decision on whether or not they want to sell to Swansway.

From there, the site uses a similar process to other car buying sites, such as We Buy Any Car, with customers given the choice of how and when they want the car to be appraised.

Once a final price has been agreed, Swansway will pay an instant ‘on-the-driveway’ payment when collecting the vehicle.