Marshalls to invest �0.5m-plus in St Neots upgrade
SURPRISINGLY buoyant motor dealer Marshall, which last month closed its Huntingdon Peugeot dealership, is set to spend more than half a million pounds on upgrading its Peugeot facility in St Neots. The news is a boost not just for those displaced from Hun
SURPRISINGLY buoyant motor dealer Marshall, which last month closed its Huntingdon Peugeot dealership, is set to spend more than half a million pounds on upgrading its Peugeot facility in St Neots.
The news is a boost not just for those displaced from Huntingdon, many of whom have moved to the St Neots outlet, in Alington Road, by the A428 Little Barford roundabout, but for additional employees the Cambridge-based group plans to recruit.
"We are investing in excess of �500,000 to upgrade all our facilities at St Neots," said business development director Christopher Walkinshaw. "We hope to start the work later this year."
Marshall had bucked the national - and international - trend in the retail motor business, he added. "We are out-performing the market, and we expect to continue recruiting.
"For us the retail market was already strong, but the scrappage scheme has already been a great success. It has brought more people into our showrooms, though they don't all buy new cars," he told The Hunts Post. "Many 10-year-old cars are worth far more than the scrappage scheme allows for, and for some people used vehicles offer a better solution.
"Nonetheless, the current estimate is that the scrappage scheme alone has generated 87,000 sales across the country, once the initial uncertainties about how it worked were resolved. It has been a great success, and some of the offers are fantastic."
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In spite of the serious slump in car sales nationally and worldwide, Marshall's sales have been ahead of last year, Mr Walkinshaw said.
But the group felt that, with just nine miles separating the St Neots and Huntingdon outlets, it was no longer sensible to keep both. The group also has Peugeot dealerships in Cambridge, Peterborough and Bedford.
The group has already lodged a planning application for a change of use of the St Peter's Road site, which was vacated at the end of June, to general industrial use, storage or distribution.
Marshall Motor Group, part of one of the largest family-owned companies in Britain, which also owns Marshall Aerospace and Cambridge Airport, currently has 46 dealerships representing 22 marques, with 1,600 employees.