After much soul-searching, T H WHITE has sadly decided to say goodbye to the motor business by selling its freehold premises in Swindon, which since 2013 has been home to the UK’s first purpose-built Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) Brand Centre.
Since T H WHITE relinquished its Land Rover dealership at Royal Wootton Bassett in 2015, the Hillmead, Swindon dealership has been the company’s only involvement in the motor trade.
Despite being regularly commended by FCA UK as one of its best dealers, the ever higher demands on ‘back room’ functions have made it increasingly difficult to operate the Hillmead site as a stand-alone enterprise, unlike larger motor groups in which resources can be shared across a number of dealerships.
T H WHITE has never been prepared to let standards of customer service slip so the strategic decision has been taken to sell the Motor Group business to Johnsons Cars Ltd, one of the largest independent motor dealers in the country. As this article was being written (late June) the sale to Johnsons was in progress and is expected to have been concluded by the beginning of July.
Johnsons Cars Ltd operates from multiple sites and has existing Mazda and Volvo dealerships in Swindon. It also supplies vehicles produced by Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda, Seat, Škoda, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen in other locations.
The entire staff of the FCA Swindon branch will transfer to Johnsons Cars Ltd which has welcomed them for their commitment and professionalism and the strong reputation they have built over the last five years. We wish them every success for the future.
We would also like to thank our customers, many of whom have been loyal to the Hillmead dealership right from its opening. We are confident that the transition will be seamless with a high level of continuity and that under the new ownership customers will carry on enjoying the levels of service they have come to expect. Johnsons Cars also proposes to expand the brand portfolio available from Hillmead.
The sale of the Motor Group ends T H WHITE’s 31-year association with the motor trade, but will now enable T H WHITE Group to focus on the diverse activities of its other core businesses.