Car Group motors on with acquisition drive

Hooton House, near Ellesmere Port on The Wirral where The Car Group will open a new car supermarket after acquiring the premises in a deal negotiated by property consultancy Vail Williams
November 11, 2022
North West used vehicle specialist The Car Group is expanding to open a second showroom on The Wirral.

Property consultancy Vail Williams acted for the company in the freehold acquisition of Hooton House, near Ellesmere Port.

Purchase price for the 51,355 sq ft (4,774 sq m) former administrative facility for Vauxhall Motors is undisclosed.

The eight-acre site includes extensive hardstanding and a deal for an additional 3.5-acre strip of land was also agreed with Stellantis, formerly Vauxhall.

The Car Group has since obtained planning permission from Cheshire West and Chester Council to convert the premises to a car supermarket and the construction of an additional 100,000 sq ft of maintenance bays.

It is thought this will create around 140 jobs which will benefit the local economy.

Hooton House occupies a highly prominent position on North Road close to junctions 6 and 7 of the M53 Wirral motorway and five miles from the M56/M53 interchange. Ellesmere Port is less than five miles away and Chester nine.

Carole Taylor, West Midlands Regional Managing Partner at property consultancy Vail Williams, led the team which sourced the site.

She said: “We first met The Car Group when we disposed of a former bus depot in Bury, Greater Manchester to them which they converted in to their first car supermarket.

“The company then instructed us to search for sites or premises – typically eight to 10 acres in the north west or north east – which could be converted in to further car supermarkets.

“Following extensive searches we identified Hooton House, which was purchased subject to planning and we subsequently worked with a full design team and successfully obtained planning consent.”

Founded in 2014 and based in Bury, The Car Group is an approved dealership that specialises in quality used cars at competitive prices with a full range of dealer services including finance, warranties and servicing.

The company stocks more than 500 RAC-approved cars in the UK’s largest indoor heated showroom in Derby Way, Bury and employs more than 60 motor trade professionals.

The Car Group Director Raza Habib said: “We are looking to expand to bring our unique style of showroom and refreshing one-stop shop buying experience to new areas as demand for quality used cars has never been higher.

“We are indebted to Carole, Vail Williams and the wider team for not only sourcing and securing this superbly located and visible premises in Cheshire, but also working hard in challenging circumstances to get it over the line.

“It is anticipated construction work will begin shortly. These are exciting times for The Car Group as we seek further strategic growth.”

In the interim Vail Williams and Eddisons, the previous selling agents on the site, are marketing the offices and the hardstanding to let on a short term basis while preparations for building work take place.

Hooton House is a purpose-built detached two storey pavilion style office building with double height reception, open plan and cellular accommodation, lift and a 150-seat cafeteria.

Vauxhall opened its Ellesmere Port plant in 1962 and more than 5.2 million vehicles have since rolled off the production lines. It has committed to selling only electric vehicles from 2028 and is investing £100 million to transform part of the site into the first Stellantis plant to produce solely battery-electric models by the end of the year.

Vail Williams’ full-service property advice includes commercial agency, investment and development advice, building consultancy, property valuation, planning, lease advisory, property asset management, business rates and occupier consultancy.