Drive into luxury market planned by Swindon motor group Cambria as mainstream sales go into reverse

January 5, 2018

Cambria, the Swindon-based franchised motor dealer, is to head upmarket with new McLaren, Lamborghini and Bentley showrooms as it continues to struggle against the decline in mainstream car sales.

The firm, which owns Swindon Land Rover in Royal Wootton Bassett and has redeveloped its former Swindon Motor Park in Dorcan as a Jaguar dealership, made the announcement at its AGM yesterday.

The meeting came ahead of today’s report by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warning of a decline in new car sales of between 5% to 7% this year compared to last year. New car sales fell 5.6% in 2017 — the first fall in annual sales since 2011.

Cambria said its sales of new cars for the last quarter were down 16.3% while used vehicle sales fell by 9.2%, which included business lost from the closure of Swindon Motor Park last January.

Looking ahead it said it remained cautious about the new car market “in light of the general uncertainty in the consumer environment and the pressure that vehicle manufacturers are under as a result of the current sterling exchange rate”.

However, it said progress made in franchising last year had further enhanced its extensive portfolio of dealerships and left the business well positioned with strong representation in the high luxury segment of motor retail.

This month it will open two new Bentley dealerships in Chelmsford and Tunbridge Wells together with a McLaren dealership. It will also open its first Lamborghini dealership, also in Chelmsford, this quarter.

Building work on a Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and McLaren dealership in Hatfield is scheduled is scheduled to start next Monday and will take approximately 11 months to complete.

Cambria, which was established in 2006, has built a portfolio of high luxury, premium and volume car dealerships with more than 40 franchises operating under brands such as County Motor Works, Dees, Doves, Grange, Invicta, Motorparks and Pure Triumph.

Despite the pressure on sales, Cambria is sticking to its medium-term ambition to create a £1bn turnover business.

Cambria’s shares closed down 1.54% yesterday at 60p.


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