Macklin Motors to open four Scottish dealerships and take on staff after Toyota win

Macklin Motors is looking to develop four dealerships after being awarded the Toyota franchise in the west of Scotland.

The car dealership chain, which is part of stock market-listed Vertu Motors, said the first dealership would be located at Darnley, to the south of Glasgow, with a planned opening date of April 1.

This will be the Macklin Motors brand's first association with Toyota, which is the world's best-selling car maker.

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Vertu Motors, which has a network of 159 sales outlets across the UK, already operates three Toyota outlets in the East Midlands.

Macklin Motors owner Vertu is headed by chief executive Robert Forrester. Picture: Neil Denham

Bosses said the new Toyota operations in Scotland would offer the full range of new and used Toyota vehicles including the new Yaris Cross, Aygo X, the iconic Land Cruiser and an extensive range of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Recruitment has kicked off for the new operations.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, said: “Toyota is a world-renowned manufacturer that we're delighted to represent. We have confidence that its investment and wider strategy will make it one of the most successful automotive manufacturers in the UK in the coming decade.

“The addition of these dealerships augments the group’s representation in Scotland under the Macklin Motors brand and expands our operational footprint there. It also demonstrates our confidence in both the future of the automotive retail sector and in Scotland's economy.”

Paul Marshall, general manager of network development for Toyota GB, added: “We are delighted to be expanding our operations with Vertu Motors plc through their Macklin Motors operation in this key geographic region, and are looking forward to developing several new exciting facilities for our customers.”

In December, Vertu, which already has more than a dozen Macklin Motors showrooms in Scotland, further raised its profit guidance despite warning of more potential disruption from the pandemic.

In a trading update, bosses nudged up their expectations for adjusted profit before tax for the year ending February 28 to “no less than” £70 million, compared with previous guidance of no less than £65m. It followed a “robust” trading performance for the year to date.

But the firm added: “The board remains cautious on the future outlook with the potential of further disruption from Covid-19 to our resource levels, consumer confidence and global supply chains.”

Vertu said shortfalls in the supply of both new and used vehicles have continued due to “ongoing dislocation” in supply chains impacting global vehicle production. Supplies of new cars have been hit hard in recent months due to a global shortage of semiconductors.

However, the firm noted that new vehicle supplies to its showrooms in October and November had been better than envisaged, with cars sold at “enhanced margins”.

At the time of its interim results in October, the firm warned that supply constraints continue and cost pressures remain - particularly those related to staffing, which are set to increase by £12m.

It said the extra cash for workers was to ensure employees do not leave at a time of high vacancy levels and wages going up across various sectors.

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