Agnew Group to invest £3.5m in a 23,000sq ft bodyshop, valet and vehicle preparation centre and £3m in its EV charging network
The announcement comes as the car dealership revealed its 2020 financial results outperformed the rest of the UK market
The Agnew Group, which has 15 dealership locations across Northern Ireland, as well as dedicated leasing provision, body repair centres and trade parts operation, is to invest £3.5m in a new 23,000 sq ft Bodyshop, Valet and Vehicle preparation centre at the rear of its Titanic Quarter complex and the creation of 10 additional roles to support this.
The investment will support the reconditioning and improved turnaround of used car preparation. It will also facilitate a photographic turntable area, additional tyre bays and a full Alloy wheel refurbishment plant to support both Customer and internal demand.
The announcement comes as the Group revealed in its latest accounts that it delivered £15.3m, an 18% rise in pre tax profits in 2020, despite enforced closures during the pandemic. An encouraging result considering overall group revenues at £437m were down 12% on the previous year.
Speaking about the company’s figures and its latest investment, Yuile Magee, group managing director at Agnew Group, said: “Agnew Group registrations outperformed both the NI and UK market trend. This strong performance secured further growth in market share within Northern Ireland with Agnew Group registrations accounting for 22% of all NI registrations in 2020 up from 20% in 2019.
“Efficiencies and learnings from forced closures in 2020 have been integrated into our current business model to enhance agility. This also includes our new investment in a 23,000 sq ft Bodyshop, Valet and Vehicle preparation centre at our Titanic Quarter complex where we can ramp up what is a growing part of our business.”
To further support its growth this year, Agnew Group will also play an influential role in the electric vehicle charging infrastructure as electric and hybrid car sales continue to rise.
NI’s market share of the EV and hybrid market sat at 36% in 2020, a significant leap from 19% in 2019 and nationally that figure doubled within one year to 42%. Now Agnew Group will work to support the wider adoption of Pure Electric Vehicles by partnering with The National Federation of Car Dealers Association (NFDA) as a local representative to influence decisions being made at a local NI government level to boost the EV charging infrastructure.
The business will also invest over £3m for EV upgrades and charging stations across its entire Group, including investing in rapid charging.
Mr Magee added: “The electric and hybrid vehicle market will consistently grow in years to come and in line with the Government’s Net Zero Emissions Target 2050. As a car retailer holding 22% of the market here, we have an invaluable insight into customer demands, customer behaviour and trends within the entire vehicle retail industry and we look forward to sharing that knowledge with the Executive as part of our relationship through the NFDA.
“Despite the Covid-19 enforced closure of car dealerships across NI and the temporary furloughing of staff, the Agnew Group has consistently worked hard to deliver a service and product to the NI public. We have also been working hard on the development of the car sales market and thank our people, who have shown great professionalism in responding to the changing operating environment. Their dedication and commitment have been absolutely critical to our success.”
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