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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Car dealership sells Carlisle sites for £4.3m

Dobies has sold its Vauxhall and SEAT car dealerships at Kingstown, Carlisle, in a £4.3 million deal.

Dobies photo
Dobies showroom

The new owner is Bristol Street Motors – part of Gateshead-based Vertu Motors, the seventh-largest motor retailer in the UK.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu, said the 23 jobs at Dobies’ dealerships in Parkhouse Road were safe. In the long term, it expected to recruit more staff.

He added: “We have a strong network of Vauxhall dealerships in the North East and extending into Carlisle makes sense. We have a strong SEAT business as well.

“So when we had the opportunity [to buy Dobies’ dealerships] we thought it was a good one.

“We are not currently in Cumbria and thought it was about time we were. We are a strong and growing business and in the long term we’d be looking to expand the number of colleagues working at Carlisle.”

The showrooms will trade under the Bristol Street Motors brand.

Dobies’ Vauxhall and Peugeot dealerships at Lillyhall, Workington, are not part of the deal and will continue to trade as normal under the Dobies name.

Bill Dobie, senior partner of Dobies Cumbria, thanked his staff in Carlisle and said: “Bristol Street Motors will be excellent custodians of the business moving forward.

“I am now looking to concentrate our efforts in west Cumbria, through our garages at Workington, to serve our customers better and grow our presence in the same area we started in 40 years ago.”

Vertu will pay £4.3m for the Carlisle businesses – £2m in cash and the rest in shares – which made an operating loss of £0.1m on sales of £10.7m last year.

Carlisle will be Vertu’s 13th Vauxhall dealership and its fourth SEAT dealership.

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