Leicestershire car dealer Sytner exceeds £3bn annual sales for first time
Car dealer Sytner has exceeded £3 billion in annual sales for the first time in its history, helping to steer the firm to record profits.
The 45-year-old group, based in Grove Park, Enderby, made a pre-tax profit of £66 million last year, up a third on 2011.
Bosses put the success down to buoyant sales of prestige marques such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.
Sytner, which saw sales rise by more than 15 per cent in the year to December 31, said trading in upmarket cars exceeded the 5.3 per cent rise in total new car sales last year.
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Managing director Gerard Nieuwenhuys said the company had thrived despite the tough economic times because customers were switching to modern, greener vehicles to reduce running costs.
"Customers are buying smaller, more efficient cars, but they're still going for prestige cars rather than run-of-the-mill ones," said Mr Nieuwenhuys.
He said attractive finance deals were also helping drive demand.
Mr Nieuwenhuys said Sytner's performance had been in line with a 11.5 per cent increase in overall new car sales last month, compared to January last year.
"We have been experiencing a positive start to the new year," he said.
The group employs 6,000 people at more than 120 dealerships in Britain and Northern Ireland. It has 400 staff in Leicestershire, who are spread between the six county dealerships, and 80-strong head office at Grove Park.
In total, the company has 140 franchises, and a stable of brands including Bentley, Audi, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Masserati.
Sytner started out as a Nottingham used car business in 1968, set up by two-time British Touring Car Championship winner Frank Sytner and his brother Alan. Today, the business is owned by Roger Penske, a former US race car driver.
Sytner – last year named second behind Next in the Leicester Mercury's list of top 200 Leicestershire companies – is on course for further growth.