Springfield Honda has been acquired by Vertu Motors plc

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Ichiban, Monday 3rd Dec, 2012.

  1. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Honda Owners in the North east please make note.

    Honda press release

    Vertu Motors: The New Face of Honda in Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland 3 December 2012

    The Honda dealerships in the north-east are now under new ownership. Existing sites in Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham have been acquired by Vertu Motors plc from Springfield Cars Ltd.

    They add to Vertu Motors’ existing portfolio of Honda car and motorcycle outlets. This latest growth makes it the largest Honda dealer group in the UK.

    Nick Campolucci, Head of Dealer Development, Honda (UK), commented: “This change is good news for Honda customers in the region, who will notice no difference during day-to-day business. Vertu Motors has a strong affinity with Honda’s core principles and we look forward to a long and profitable relationship at these sites.”

    Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors plc, added: “We are pleased to have acquired these Honda dealerships and we will integrate them into our existing portfolio. These are well established businesses, and we are confident that they will quickly generate a positive return for the Group.”

    Vertu Motors expands presence in the North-East (From The Northern Echo)
     
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  2. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Cheers CJ thanks for posting this and letting us know.

    Vertu Motors? Gateshead-based? Never heard of them and I'm North East born and bred!

    I'll reserve judgement until I've dealt with them personally but I will say that I have dealt with Springfield for nearly 7 years and always found them first rate - as you'd expect from a small independent family run business - therefore they'll be a tough act to follow! :GoodJob:

    Are Vertu part of Bristol Street?

    Let's hope the excellent service continues and isn't diluted as can often happen with massive dealer groups. I'm not due a service for 7,800 miles but look forward to doing business with the new dealer.

    Let's hope there is also a further drive supporting the introduction 9th Generation Accord and beyond :Hooray:
     
    Last edited: Tuesday 4th Dec, 2012
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  3. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    John I doubt you will see a massive difference apart from the name change on the front of the dealership. The staff would have been TUPED (2 peed :Wink:) into Vertu books so you may see the same faces under a new employer.

    Nothing major will change for 3-6 months under the TUPED harmonisation but the dead wood is any would be replaced by Vertu faithfuls in say 8-10 months then you will see the changes.
     
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  4. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I forgot about the TUPE Regs. This is a good thing as Springfield Honda always been excellent dealership so that should continue then under Vertu.
     
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  5. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    They will be fine as long as the Springfield staff sing off the Vertu hymn sheet and in a recession you better do it as it will be used an excuse.

    Honda are not setting the world on fire in sales up north so hope the staff knuckle down and give the new owners the figures they want they will be fine.

    Will customer experience change due to this only time will tell.
     
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  6. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Think the dealerships are too few and what there are, too close up here.

    You have Benfield (formerly DeVries) at Stockton then the former Springfield ones at Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and Silverlink (North Tyneside). The Springfield ones are probably no more than 15 - 20 miles apart Max and all on or near the east coast. There is nothing to the West til Carlisle (think it's Lloyd Honda) and then Edinburgh so there is no Honda Car dealer in Northumberland. A few power tools and quad bike dealers though.

    To boost sales in this area maybe they need more dealers elsewhere say Hexham and Alnwick or Berwick. The downside is that these areas are quite rural so main Customer base is farmers or those working /living rurally so really the Subaru/Isuzu/SSanyYong/Nissan/Suzuki franchises cover all that requirement. It's a difficult one to call really. Perhaps a way to go would be for one dealer to offer a wider Honda range cars, power tools and quadbikes all in one outlet. I'm sure Honda could break in with say a 4x4 saloon (Legend/Accord with Legend 4x4 system for example) or even the introduction of the Pilot in the UK or even 7 seat CR-V may help.
     
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  7. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Think the dealerships are too few and what there are, too close up here.

    Now letters have been sent out by both Vertu and Honda UK saying that Silverlink Honda (the newest out of only 2 dealerships north of the River Tyne and south of the border) is to close... Well done Vertu and Honda!!!!:Foolish: Yet another event that makes me wonder if Honda UK really are trying to annoy customers and drive them away!

    How can you hope to increase market share in the lowest sales area of the UK with just ONE outlet in Newcastle?
     
    Last edited: Monday 31st Dec, 2012
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  8. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    I too had a letter from them last week as I had my Civic serviced at Newcastle way back in 2004 ! atleast they are settle a few nervous Honda owners.

    Honda will put more dealers up in the North east bud, it looking for dealers who will make the investment in the new state of art dealership.

    With Honda not selling like their Korean counterparts the investment for new franchise is a hard sell. Anyone going into the auto trade now wants volume not niche which Honda is..
     
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  9. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Yes it's a bit of a catch 22 isn't it.

    They need to keep their presence in the area but I suppose if the sales volumes aren't there it's hard to call if it's worth keeping the extra showroom capacity "just in case".

    Silverlink was purpose built by Springfield as a Honda dealership so that may make it a more attractive investment for another dealership to take on as a Honda outlet as a large part of the work is already done.

    Similiar thing happend a few years back with Subaru in Newcastle. Evans Halshaw sold their Subaru site as it was ripe for development which meant Subaru customers had longer trips out into rural Northumberland or down to Durham to get dealer service. Subaru acknowledged that they needed to establish another dealership in Newcastle which did eventually happen - funnily enough in the old Springfield Tynemouth Honda dealership which Springfield moved out of when they built the Silverlink dealership.

    I suppose them retaining Newcastle Honda looks better for the Accord's future. It's surrounded by Volvo, Audi, Mercedes and VW so there is definite requirment for a flagship saloon/tourer model given that's what all the surrounding competition offer. You aint gonna convince someone away from an A4 with a Jazz or Civic! :Rolf:
     
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