Inchcape has signed a definitive agreement to offload its UK automotive retail operations (Inchcape UK) to Group 1 Automotive for £346m.  

This transaction includes the UK automotive retailing business and associated real estate assets.  

Last year, Inchcape UK dealerships generated around £2.1bn in annual revenues, US-based Group 1 noted.  

With 54 dealership locations across England and Wales, Inchcape’s UK portfolio features brands such as Audi, BMW/MINI, Jaguar Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz/smart, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.  

These dealerships collectively sell more than 63,500 new and used vehicles, along with 24,000 corporate units, each year, it added. 

Group 1 expects the acquisition to expand its UK dealership network to 109 locations.  

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Group 1 president and CEO Daryl Kenningham said: “Group 1 has successfully operated in the UK since 2007 and we are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to grow in this important market. 

“Inchcape’s brand mix is outstanding. These new stores complement our geographic footprint in the East and South East of England and enable us to expand into new markets in the Central and North West regions of England and Wales. Inchcape’s exceptional reputation has been built over 50 years in the retail business.” 

For Inchcape, this deal is a key step in its transition to a distribution-centric model, following a strategic review initiated in January 2024. 

The divestment allows Inchcape to focus on its distribution operations, which are active in over 40 countries and account for more than 90% of the group’s profits.  

This move is expected to yield higher returns, create a more capital-efficient business, and enhance cash generation. 

Although retail operations will continue to play a role within Inchcape’s distribution value chain, the company is concentrating on leveraging its distribution platform to serve original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners with technology, local expertise, and personnel. 

Inchcape UK CEO George Ashford said: “Group 1’s acquisition of Inchcape’s UK retail operations demonstrates our business’s impressive scale, strategic footprint, and strong relationships with OEM brands. This success is due to our people, our teams, and the excellent work they have put into building a business known for its outstanding customer service. 

“Group 1 clearly shares our vision for excellence and growth and has demonstrated its commitment to the long-term success of our business and will be a great home for our colleagues.” 

Subject to regulatory clearances, the deal is anticipated to close in the third quarter of this year.