Waylands doubles Kia representation with Bicester dealership acquisition

Waylands Automotive has continued its expansion and strengthened an AM Awards-winning partnership with the acquisition of Grovebury Cars’ Kia UK dealership in Bicester.

The move adds and eighth dealership to the portfolio of the AM Awards’ three-time Dealer Group of the Year (up to 10 sites) and doubles its location count with the AM Awards 2022’s Manufacturer of the Year.

Waylands chief executive John O’Hanlon said: “Bicester makes a lot of sense for us, as it’s close to our other sites and we intend to serve existing, as well as new, customers there with our trademark quality customer service and family approach.

“Kia is a great fit for us, sharing the same core values with a real belief in its products, for example, offering a reassuring seven-year warranty and understanding its customers’ needs.”

Waylands’ latest dealership addition, located on Launton Road, Bicester, will retain “many of the existing staff”, according to a statement issued by the group this morning (June 1).

Grovebury Cars will continue to serve customers at Kia Dunstable, which is not part of the acquisition.

Founded by former Ridgeway director O’Hanlon in 2017, Waylands started life as a single-site Volvo Car UK retailer but has grown rapidly since, joining the Kia franchise through the February 2021 acquisition of Pendragon’s Evans Halshaw dealership in Reading.

It now represents Kia, MG and Volvo at locations in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and, in 2021, delivered a 40% increase in revenues to £124.6 million alongside a 115.1% increase in pre-tax profits to £2.7m.

O’Hanlon discussed his reasons for re-entering the automotive retail sector in an episode of the AM News Show podcast and has also expressed his hopes for Waylands in an AM dealer profile feature.

Waylands’ new dealership will also guarantee it further exposure to an ambitious brand targeting a record 100,000 new car registrations in a declining market in 2022.

Kia UK president and chief executive Paul Philpott laid out his ambitions for the year – his 15th with the brand– in the April edition of AM magazine.

Boosting Kia’s hopes of a strong 2022 is a raft of new models, including the AM Awards 2022’s New Car of the Year, the all-new Sportage and soon-to-arrive all-new Niro electrified model range.

A multi-award-winning news journalist, Tom is news and features editor for Bauer Media’s AM brand. His role demands he keep abreast of all industry and business news to provide coverage of the franchised automotive retail sector and the wider automotive industry, while assisting in the management of the magazine’s production and AM events.

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