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The Business Magazine November 2023
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Waylands buys second Kia dealership, in Bicester

6 June 2022
The Business Magazine article image for: Waylands buys second Kia dealership, in Bicester

Waylands, the family-owned motor retail group that represents Volvo in Bristol, Newbury, Oxford, Reading and Swindon, and MG in Oxford, has acquired the Kia dealership in Bicester from Grovebury Cars. It is second Kia dealership, after opening Waylands Kia Reading in February 2021.

Waylands founder and 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.”

Despite the challenges of Covid, the company has delivered four years of consecutive growth, with revenue growth of almost 40 per cent to December 2021, to £124.6 million.

Last month the Reading-headquartered company won Dealer Group of the Year at the annual AM (Automotive Management) Awards. It was the third time running that Waylands Automotive has won this award.

Continued investment in its digital capabilities are a key objective for the company as it ensures this complements its showrooms, and it is increasing its digital sales team to be able to extend the hours the business can help online customers without sacrificing any quality of service.

The group has continued investment in its infrastructure and facilities, including a £1M investment in its Volvo Retail Experience at Newbury. Completion of its £4 million Volvo Retail Experience project at Great Western Way in Swindon this year will give the Group full Volvo Retail Experience facilities at all its locations.

The company was established in 2017 by John O'Hanlon, former CEO of Ridgeway Group which represented many premium franchises in the South of England. Its first franchise was Volvo in Reading. The company aims to grow steadily to achieve sufficient scale to compete with the industry's biggest players but to maintain representation that has the feel and culture of a local dealership.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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