Record Growth in 2016 for Retail Automotive Alliance

The Retail Automotive Alliance (RAA) enjoyed another record year of growth in 2016 with a rise in turnover of 7% to £3.1 billion and an increase in its footprint to over 240 sales and service outlets across the UK.

The year also saw two of the RAA’s larger Members become one when Hendy Group acquired the Kent-based Lifestyle Group in June taking their turnover to over £500 million.

With over 7,500 employees, RAA Members increased their new and used vehicle sales by over 4% to 244,000 across 25 motor franchises and the Group is now the 5th largest automotive retailing organisation in the UK.

Following Chambers, Gates Ford, and Hartwell earlier in the year, December saw L’Derry based Desmond Motors become the latest Dealer Group of 2016 to join the RAA. The joint venture initiative was formed in 2005 by a small group of entrepreneurial automotive retailers and now has 23 Shareholder Members across the UK.

John Matthews, the RAA’s Business Development Director said,

“The RAA is as strong as its Members and in the past year, almost all of them grew their businesses significantly which has added to the value we can deliver through our wide range of procurement programmes and also to the value we bring to our supplier partners.”

“2017 will see continued growth in our membership which is based on contributing not only to the scale and quality of our venture but also on the cultural fit into a well-established and highly effective group.”

South East-based Lifestyle Group joins Hendy Automotive

South East-based Lifestyle Group joins Hendy Automotive

Lifestyle Motor Group, which operates retail dealerships throughout the South East has been bought by Hendy Automotive Limited.

Paul Hendy
Hendy Automotive Managing Director Paul Hendy

Lifestyle, which has Ford, Mazda, Kia, Renault, Dacia, SEAT, Suzuki and Isuzu dealerships are now part of the newly formed company Hendy Automotive Limited.

The deal places the new company in the top 20 of automotive retailers in the UK with 12 motor franchises at 25 locations in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, and Devon with annual turnover set to reach £600 million.


Marc Matthew and Peter Isted
(l-r) Marc Matthew Lifestyle Chairman with Managing Director Peter Isted

The group now employs around 1,000 staff and is set to sell in excess of 40,000 cars, vans and trucks each year from its dealerships and two used car stores.

Marc Matthew, Lifestyle Chairman said Hendy Automotive provides an exciting future for our south east-based group which was formed in 2001.

Marc said;

We have built up a strong, profitable and successful business in Kent, Sussex and Surrey and believe this growth will continue with Hendy’s. Having won more than 50 industry awards we have been proud of the entire team and the relationships we have had with our franchise partnerships.

Hendy Automotive Managing Director Paul Hendy said he was delighted to add the successful Lifestyle Motor Group to its existing business and said this gives the company a great platform for growth.

Paul said;

We are delighted to have bought Lifestyle which has a similar philosophy to Hendy with a strong commitment to customer care and service, this acquisition extends our territory into the south east and adds a number of new franchises to our existing portfolio of Ford, MG, Iveco, Honda, Mazda and Kia.

All new dealerships will continue to operate under the Lifestyle name for the immediate future as the business is integrated into Hendy Automotive.

Paul continued;

It’s very much business as usual at the moment . We’re really excited to be adding the new dealerships to our existing business and look forward to the future.

For further information please contact Alyson Marlow at Lee Peck Media on 023 8038 1932

Hartwell joins the Retail Automotive Alliance

Hartwell joins the Retail Automotive Alliance

Hartwell Group has joined the successful motor industry procurement specialist, the Retail Automotive Alliance (RAA) in order to secure the purchasing power of a large scale national operator for its multi franchised dealerships across 11 sites in the UK.

Established in 1919 in Oxfordshire, Hartwell has been trading for almost 100 years and now operates a variety of new car franchises including Citroen, Dacia, Fiat, Ford, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Renault.

The RAA has an eleven year track record of delivering big savings to its Shareholder Members by combining their individual purchasing requirements across a range of suppliers from oil and number plates through to finance and insurance and striking industry leading deals which deliver savings in excess of £5 million per annum to the group.

With a combined turnover of £2.9 bn, the RAA is the 5th largest automotive retailing organisation in the UK and now has 23 Motor Dealer Group Members nationwide, selling over 235,000 new and used cars annually through more than 230 sales outlets and representing 26 motor franchises.

Commenting on his decision, Kevin Godfrey, Hartwells Managing Director, said;

“we are delighted to be part of the RAA and enjoy the benefits of scale that the group offers which enable us to be significantly more competitive than we would be alone.”

Asked about the other aspects of RAA Membership, Kevin continued;

“It isn’t simply the commercial benefits that appeal to Hartwell, it is the opportunity for me to regularly meet with like-minded business owners in my industry and share experiences, thoughts and ideas and improve our own business as a result.”

Hartwell has built its reputation on excellent customer service which has led to considerable growth throughout its history and has remained true to its roots, maintaining a local company ethos with strong emphasis on providing customers with an enjoyable and reliable service.

John Matthews, the RAA’s Business Development Director, said of the move,

“The RAA is all about its Members. We are very careful about appointing those who not only contribute to the scale and quality of our venture but who fit in culturally with what we have created. Kevin and the Hartwells team are exactly the type of business we are looking for as we continue to grow the membership and they have been warmly welcomed by all.”