Leading South East Motor Group Grows with Acquisition
One of Kent and Sussex’s largest motor groups is continuing its expansion with the takeover of five dealerships from a North-Kent family-owned business.
The independently owned JCB Group acquisition of Hidsons Group expands the already extensive reach of JCB Group, increasing its offering in North Kent and introducing new partnerships with automotive brands KIA, Citroen, Mitsubishi and SsangYong, who were not previously offered by the car dealer’s portfolio.
JCB Group see this purchase as a perfect fit, both culturally and geographically and as an opportunity to further enhance their position as a driving force within the car industry. The acquisition will add a further six dealerships to the group and takes the number of franchise partners to nine. The acquired locations in Northfleet and Rainham compliments the prime locations already held in Ashford, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Crawley, Worthing, Brighton and Eastbourne.
JCB Group Managing Director Jonathan Bischoff said: “We are delighted to have acquired this respected and long established family business and look forward to the challenges of extending our business. Key attractions for us are the cultural fit and more choice for our customers.
“Hidson’s Group have remained successful dealers for 65 years due to its ongoing philosophy of offering the highest quality and service to their customers. This fits well with the JCB Group and while we’ve grown hugely over the years, as a family owned business ourselves, the focus has always been on looking after our customers and offering reliable vehicles which are value-for-money, as well as offering a localised, personalised service and approachable and knowledgeable staff.
“We are committed to preserving and nurturing this culture as well as putting in place new initiatives which allows the Hidson’s sites to benefit from our larger scale and investments we have made.
“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of the employees of Hidson’s to the wider JCB Group family and look forward to the group developing its increasing driving force within the motoring industry.”
Nigel Hidson commented: “Obviously, it’s not without some regrets that we are closing the book so many years of history by selling our business to JCB. Selling a business is not a step that’s taken lightly. However, we are confident that our sale to JCB will continue both our business ethos and at the same time protect the interests of our staff. In these circumstances, therefore, it’s a step that we are pleased to take. I would like to express my confidence that Jonathan will take the business forward and that everyone involved will be as proud of their achievements in years to come as we have been.”
Jonathan Bischoff set up the JCB Group 19 years ago, then aged 28, while he was working for another dealership. He wrote to Volkswagen, explaining that he only wanted to work for them and was desperate to be given the opportunity to run a dealership. To his delight (and surprise) Volkswagen replied, offering to be the guarantor behind this new business venture.
Fast forward 20 years, Jonathan’s team have sold in excess of 120,000 vehicles and the business has grown to include other marques including Volkswagen, SKODA, SEAT, Honda and Fiat, plus Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VW CV).
The independently owned JCB Group now employs over 500 staff throughout Kent and Sussex.