MotorMartin is always pleased to highlight new and exciting dealerships as they continue to open across the UK, especially as and when the news arrives at @motormartin1 towers. It’s especially important as they are often the first contact for many when it comes to such an important buying decision for the consumer. It gives me great pleasure therefore to bring to your attention the news that Arnold Clark, Europe’s largest independently owned automotive retail group, has opened the biggest dealership in the entire Renault Group UK dealer network.
The flagship Hillington franchise adjoins Arnold Clark’s brand-new, 90,000 sq ft Renfrewshire headquarters located on Hillington Industrial Park, and the group’s decision to complement its new home with the UK’s most impressive Renault dealership strengthens its longstanding relationship with Renault Group UK.
Measuring 15,823 sq ft and incorporating a 23-car showroom that features the new Renault Store concept with interactive car configurator and iPad-equipped ‘Brand Bar’, the Hillington dealership will deliver an unprecedented Arnold Clark Renault experience.
Arnold Clark’s previous East Lane Paisley and Pollokshaws Road dealerships are consolidated into the new dealership, offering private and business customers vastly enhanced facilities that are complemented with already established sales and after sales teams. Selling in the region of 1,200 new vehicles a year, the Hillington dealership is also a designated Renaultsport Specialist and Pro+ Specialist – offering high-performance Renault enthusiasts and fleet buyers a level of service that is tailored to their requirements.
And it’s not just new Renault and Dacia as additional customer benefits include an extensive new and used car display of up to 400 vehicles, 11-bay workshop with the latest diagnostic equipment, EV charging points and both static and automated car wash facilities. Once complete, the 11-acre Arnold Clark headquarters will also provide visitors with an onsite café and outdoor seating area.
Arnold Clark has represented Renault for over 40 years – the group choosing the brand as its first foreign car franchise in 1974. The cutting-edge Hillington dealership takes the group’s nationwide Renault dealerships to 20 and reaffirms Arnold Clark’s status as the UK’s biggest privately-owned Renault retail partner.
The opening of the Hillington site comes at a very exciting time for Renault and Arnold Clark. Renault Group UK is enjoying strong growth in vehicle sales and the rapid expansion of its dealer network, the latter a key part of its GO5+ strategy to increase market share and brand opinion, while 2014 was the most successful year for Arnold Clark in the 60 years it has been trading – the group registering a 12.3 per cent increase in turnover.
Arnold Clark has also recently completed a striking rebrand and the build of its headquarters will see it bring its marketing, finance and digital product development divisions under one roof for the first time. The group’s directors will be based at Hillington and the new high-tech HQ will house 500 personnel in a contemporary setting that also pays homage to the group’s heritage.
David Munton, Renault Franchise Director, Arnold Clark shared the following with MotorMartin when he said: “Our history with Renault together with our desire to improve the facilities of our existing franchises in the area made it a logical decision to incorporate a brand new dealership into our Hillington development.
“Our experiences of working with Renault Group have been excellent and we’ve enjoyed a great deal of success with the brand. Its cars are very popular with our customers, the Clio and Megane previously being the best-selling new vehicles in Scotland, and this year alone we expect to sell in the region of 18,000 vehicles across our Renault franchises.”
Munton added: “The Renault Group brands are very important to Arnold Clark and their increasing popularity presents us with the opportunity to establish further dealerships in areas where we can improve our group’s presence.”
Darren Payne, Sales Director, Renault Group UK said: “We’re delighted that such an important investor as Arnold Clark has underlined its confidence in Renault and Dacia by not only establishing a new franchise, but also making it the largest of its kind in the UK and acknowledging its importance by incorporating it into its flagship facility.
“The Hillington franchise is the latest addition to our fast-growing dealer network and its development by one of the country’s top privately-owned automotive retail groups is a clear indication of how appealing our franchise is. We very much look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Arnold Clark and with investors like them onboard, we are in the best possible position to achieve our plans for sustainable growth set out in our GO5+ strategy.”
Sir Arnold Clark established Arnold Clark Automobiles in 1954 and now employs almost 10,000 staff nationwide, with branches located in Scotland and England. The company has been awarded the title of Retailer of the Year for three years in a row, and had a turnover of £3.2bn in 2014.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this is another positive for the UK car industry and would appear to be a model that other manufacturers could follow if sustained growth in new and used car sales is to be maintained and grown.
It remains to say a huge MotorMartin well done to Renault, Dacia and Arnold Clark Automobiles and congratulations on a job well done.
Where will you go?