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Henson planning to open more car supermarkets

A rapidly growing retailer says it has plans to open two more North East car supermarkets, which would nearly double its sales to £60m as it celebrates the success of two new sites in the region.

The expansion by the Henson Motor Group comes after it finished in the top three at the UK Dealership of the Year 2008 awards and in the top four at the UK Used Car Retailer awards at the recent Automotive Industry Awards.

In January the Newcastle company opened a new car supermarket at VROOM, the car retail park at Silverlink, North Tyneside. The company opened a further car supermarket this week at the Metrocentre, Gateshead, on the site vacated by Carshock, which collapsed last year.

And Henson says it is now eyeing two further sites in the region – one on Wearside and one on Teeside which will take its turnover to £60m.

Henson Motor Group managing director David Wilson said: “Finishing well at the Automotive Industry Awards was icing on the cake at this exciting time for our business.

“We were up against much bigger and longer established companies, but the awards looked only at our Benton car supermarket. With the addition of our new VROOM and MetroCentre sites, the future is looking even rosier.

“We have achieved economies of scale in administration, marketing, car preparation and after sales care, enabling us to maintain our position as offering the best value cars in the UK. Our expansion plan is on track, as is our turnover forecast announced in June 2007. We are currently in negotiations with property agents to acquire two additional new sites in the North East.

“At the VROOM site we sold over 70 cars in our first month of trading. We achieved this with low overheads since head office support means we can operate an 80-car site with only two sales personnel, one sales controller and one car valet.”

The two new car supermarkets have created 15 jobs and the company is looking to recruit 10 new personnel this year and these complement the Henson’s existing two and a half acre Benton outlet.

It currently employs a58 staff, it has a turnover of 34.4m and when it secures the two new sites it foresees this rising to £60m.

Mr Wilson added: “We are looking at one site on Wearside and one site on Teeside. The plan is to have five car supermarkets here in the North east by July 2009.”

A company spokesman added: “The Henson Motor Group has expanded year on year for 11 years. This has been a steady, organic growth funded from priofits.

“The expansion plans have been in place for some time now, and enjoy the full support of involved banks and financiers.

“Joint managing directors David Wilson and John Muckian and finance director Graham Ord are prudent men and have funds in place to launch, and consolidate this expansion plan. This is a plan whose time has come, rather than “Too far, too fast.”