Grimsby motor group bought out by Yorkshire Skoda specialist
DEAL DONE: Dougal Keith, centre, shakes hands with Robert Addison, with Angus Keith looking on. Right, the three dealerships in Grimsby, Honda, Seat and Skoda. Images: DM Keith - Facebook / Google.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 7 Feb 2018
GRIMSBY car dealership Westgate Motor Group has been bought out, having had one award-winning owner with 30 years on the clock.
The company behind the Honda, Seat and Skoda franchises in the town, based alongside the A180 entrance it takes its name from, has been acquired by DM Keith Ltd.
The Yorkshire dealer, with showrooms in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Wakefield, Huddersfield and York, is the largest Skoda retailer in the UK, and like Westgate had, remains in family ownership.
Dealer principal, Robert Addison, who launched the Grimsby business back in the late Eighties – buying the Honda franchise then located in Garth Lane – has retired having completed the undisclosed deal.
He added the Spanish Seat brand to the initial Japanese offering in 2002, with Skoda following in 2012, and both representing significant expansions to the West Coates Road site. Both brought sales success and national recognition, with it being named the Czech-brand’s Retailer of the Year in 2014, having taken the Seat title 12 months earlier.
In 2016, Westgate was named as one of the 1,000 Companies To Inspire Britain by the London Stock Exchange in the £20 million to £30 million turnover category, alongside fellow North East Lincolnshire dealer Read Motor Group.
For DM Keith, it marks a first venture out of the white rose county for the second generation company, having been started by Duncan Keith when he was demobbed from the Army in 1946.
Initially offering service and repairs, he progressed to car sales, and in 1972 introduced the Russian-built Moskvich, and then Lada. In 1976 he switched to Skoda, and it has remained the cornerstone ever since, undoubtedly boosted by Volkswagen’s purchase and rapid evolution of the brand in the Nineties.
With sons Angus and Dougal taking the lead, there was investment in the initial dealership in Thwaite Gate, Leeds, then expansion into neighbouring towns and cities.
DM Keith now employs 250 people, and employees at Westgate will transfer across.
Dougal Keith, managing director, said: “In an uncertain economy and competitive market, DM Keith has continued to grow. This is a very exciting time for us and we are delighted to add another Skoda and Seat dealership to our portfolio. This is a great strategic fit as the acquisition fits geographically well with our established sites across Yorkshire; (making it now) seven Skoda and two Seat retailers, which strengthens our representation of the Volkswagen Group.
“With the addition of Westgate Motor Group we are thrilled to expand into a new brand with Honda. We have been looking for a new brand to add to our portfolio for quite some time and the Honda brand is a great fit with our existing businesses and our business plan. We are looking forward to building a strong relationship with the brand and to growing and developing with our existing partners.
“We would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Westgate team to the DM Keith family and wish good luck to Robert Addison, who had built up the Westgate Motor Group, in his retirement.”