Helston Garages snaps up Exeter dealership

The latest addition to the Helston Garages expire - Renwicks Peugeot in Exeter
The latest addition to the Helston Garages empire - Renwicks Peugeot in Exeter

The Helston Garages group, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, has expanded again with the acquisition of the Renwicks Peugeot Exeter dealership.

Established more than 30 years ago, Renwicks was one of the first car dealerships to open on the city’s Marsh Barton Trading Estate.

Helston Garages is one of the biggest family-owned motoring businesses in the south west with, prior to its latest acquisition, 28 dealerships employing 700 people across the region, from Bridgwater and Dorchester to its Helston base.

The Exeter Peugeot business, together with its Honiton satellite, will be added to the group’s Truscotts Peugeot division, which already operates in Helston, Launceston and Barnstaple.

Renwicks’ Peugeot Exeter/Honiton dealership was put up for sale last month (Oct 2009) and operations wound down.

Twenty staff are currently employed at the two locations and Helston Garages chief executive Andy Barrett commented: “We will immediately double this employment level and clearly be looking at possible further increases in the months to come as we set about rebuilding the business.

“We have enjoyed very successful partnerships with Peugeot at Helston, Launceston and Barnstaple and are very confident that we can repeat the formula at Exeter and Honiton.”

He added: “We will be relaunching as Truscotts Exeter next Monday, November 9, and we will be offering the full, comprehensive range of Peugeot sales, service and parts at both locations, just as Renwicks were doing before.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to maintain the Peugeot business in this area. The Helston Garages group is proud to boast a track record second to none and we see Peugeot Exeter as very much a key player in our long-term development plans.”

Accountancy and insolvency experts Grant Thornton were appointed last month to help find a buyer for the business.

Nigel Morrison of Grant Thornton said: “I am very pleased to have secured a sale to Helston Garages so quickly after we were appointed. This ensures that there is as little disruption as possible to Renwicks’ customers and will hopefully reassure people who have been contemplating buying a Peugeot in Exeter.

“I am also pleased that Helston are seeking to increase the number of people employed in the business. I was encouraged by the level of interest shown in the business and am not at all surprised that a sale has been achieved.”

The purchase adds to Helston Garages’ existing dealerships on the Marsh Barton estate – namely BMW, MINI, Volvo, Porsche, Ferrari, VW Commercial and Chrysler.