Dealer changes

Peoples in ‘exploratory talks’ with Chinese partners

Brian Gilda
Brian Gilda: we are entering a period of change

Independent Ford retailer Peoples is looking to potential partners in the growing Chinese car manufacturing sector as it assesses the future shape of the car buying market.

Chairman Brian Gilda said the company was focused on a shift in business priorities as the market adapts to new developments such as the switch to electric vehicles.

“We are entering a period of change in the coming years as the model line-up becomes increasingly more electric,” he said in a statement accompanying the company’s annual results.

“We also need to ensure our franchised dealer network is aligned with our view of the future direction of the UK market, and for that reason we are in exploratory talks with a number of overseas manufacturer partners, including potential partners in China.”

Peoples Group this year marks its 40th anniversay and now has six dealerships – three in central Scotland in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Livingston and three in Liverpool.

It posted a fall in pre-tax profit to £7.67 million in the year to July, down from last year’s record-breaking £8.48m as the business came under pressure from higher costs.

Turnover rose 11.3% to £306.8m on the back of a 21% rise in new car sales. Used car sales rose 11% and after sales profits soared by 31%. Commercial vehicle sales were down 17% because of an industry-wide shortage.

Mr Gilda said: “Despite having come through a period of commercial vehicle supply constraints which adversely affected volumes across the sector, we exceeded our operational benchmarks and financial targets.

“Our increase in new and used personal vehicle sales positively impacted our turnover and our huge upturn in aftersales is testament to consumer confidence in our brand and our experts.”

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