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Motor - 1999






















Invensys has agreed to sell its automotive anti-vibration system business to Trelleborg of Sweden for £160m.

Doughty Hanson is to acquire Fiat Lubricants Group of Italy for £268m, as part of the international expansion of its private equity investment business.

Woodville Polymer Engineering is creating 40 new jobs at its airbags factory in Swadlincote, having won new contracts from Fiat, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz.

RC Edmondson has undergone a management buy-out, leading to the creation of EMG Holdings which will operate Ford franchises in Bury St Edmunds, Thetford and Spalding.

Kwik-Fit has acquired Silver Shield Screens, the automotive glass repair and replacement company, for an initial £6m.

Hays has won a £200m contract to distribute truck parts for Iveco, which will involve a warehouse in Cheshire and the creation of 180 jobs.

Alumasc has sold Express Heat Treatments, the Midlands-based automotive castings business, to Controlled Heat Treatments for undisclosed terms.

Johnson Controls Automotive of the US is planning to set up a manufacturing facility in Redditch by June 2000, with the creation of up to 300 jobs.

Invensys has sold its US automotive fluid handling division to Cooper Tire & Rubber for £150m, as part of a strategy to focus on automation and controls.

Invensys has sold its Australian-based business that produces engineered polymers for the car industry to Austrim Nylex for £42m.

Brands Hatch Leisure, the motor racing circuits group, is to be acquired by Interpublic in a £120m deal, as part of a strategy by the US advertising group to build up a sports marketing business.

Corkills Motor Group is looking to recruit an additional 30 staff at its new Volkswagen showroom in Liverpool.

Draexlmaier Automotive of Germany is to set up a £5m factory at Rubery to manufacture car components for Rover's nearby Longbridge plant, with the creation of 200 jobs.

Creative Tooling is to create 11 new jobs at its Oswestry factory to manufacture tooling for the new Jensen sports car that will be built on Merseyside.

Brownhills of Newark has bought Madisons, the Blackpool-based motorhomes distributor, for undisclosed terms.

Jensen Motors is to set up a £10m factory on Merseyside to manufacture a new two-seater sports car, building up to 600 units a year and employing 60 people.

Tibbett & Britten is to build a £1m automotive pre-delivery inspection centre at Tynedock through its Axial Logistics division, with the creation of 120 jobs.

Direct Line is to acquire the Green Flag vehicle recovery business from Cendant for £220m, and will combine it with its Direct Line Rescue operation.

Express 2 Automotive, the Durham-based manufacturer of precision components for the car industry, has undergone a £2.5m management buy-out from the Express Group.

John Wallwork Group, the Altrincham-based car leasing and fleet management company, has been acquired by Associates Fleet Services.

Toomey Hire & Leasing has acquired Skyway Leasing, the Chester-based vehicle leasing company, for about £6m.

Goode Durrant has relocated its head office to Darlington and is being renamed Northgate, in preparation for a nationwide expansion of its vehicle hire business that will create 500 jobs over the next five years.

Camloc Gas Springs of Leicester has been acquired by US automotive parts company Arvin Industries, and will be renamed Arvin Motion Control.

Caterpillar Logistics Services is to extend its Desford warehouse facilities in Leicestershire having won a contract to distribute parts for Rover, with the creation of 300 jobs.

Braintree District Council is considering plans from JL French to build a new £20m automotive castings factory in Witham, with the creation of 200 jobs.

Wagon is acquiring the remaining 80% of Aries Structures, the French car doors supplier, for £77m.

Viktor Achter is seeking an additional 80 workers for its car seat factory in Burnley.

Dutton Forshaw is to open a new Honda dealership at Stockton's Preston Farm industrial estate, employing 30 staff.

Crofts is to add a commercial vehicle centre at its Toyota base in Billingham, with the creation of eight jobs.

Britton's Plastics, the Midlands car parts company, has been bought out of receivership by Fletchworth Group, saving 100 jobs.

Ryland Group is buying Corner Coventry, the Ford dealership, out of receivership for £1.6m.

Magna Exterior Systems, the Swindon-based provider of spray painting services to car manufacturers, has undergone a management buy-out and will be renamed Automotive Coatings.

BMW is recruiting an additional 100 contract workers for its Land Rover plant in Solihull, due to rising demand.

Tewkesbury Borough Council has approved plans from Hirata of Japan to build a car parts factory in Ashchurch, which will create up to 175 jobs and supply body parts to Honda in Swindon.

Hill Hire, the truck rental company, is to be acquired by the Bank of Scotland in a £74m deal.

Poole Car Centre, the Dorset-based Mitsubishi dealership, has been acquired by the Winchester Motor Group.

BCH Vehicle Management of Bristol is seeking a further ten sales executives in order to expand its vehicle fleet from 18,000 to more than 30,000 by the end of next year.

TRW is to create 65 jobs at its airbag plant in Peterlee, having won orders from Nissan, Toyota, Jaguar and Porsche.

Henlys is to acquire Blue Bird Corporation, the US school bus manufacturer, for £267m, prompting speculation that Volvo is about to bid for Henlys.

The Welsh Development Agency is supporting a £3m project by Mitsui Kinzoku to set up a European headquarters to manufacture car door latches in Carmarthenshire, and up to 220 jobs will be created.

Sytner is to acquire Ixion Motor, the Oxford-based car retailer, for £13m, in order to add new franchises and develop its relationship with Jaguar.

Hamer Group has acquired Appleyards' Toyota dealership in Hockley, and plans to create 100 jobs by setting up new dealerships at the Star City complex and in south Birmingham.

Ian Anthony Group is to open a £1m BMW-approved body shop in Bolton in September, with the creation of 25 jobs.

Mayflower is selling Dennis Eagle, the manufacturer of refuse vehicles, as well as Douglas Equipment and Schopf to Natwest Equity Partners for £31m.

Piolax is to relocate its car components factory from Burnley to the Altham Business Park near Accrington later this year, with the creation of 60 jobs.

Lawrence Automotive of Nottingham is being acquired by a new company called Interior Technologies for £12m, in order to build up a new business making luxury trims for car manufacturers.

Le Riche, the Channel Islands-based retail group, has sold its car dealership operations to Five Oaks Garage for £10m.

Computer Cab is acquiring Datacab for an initial £1.3m, in order to create a combined radio taxi group with more than 3,100 drivers.

Alvis has sold Barracuda Technologies, its camouflage equipment subsidiary, to Saab of Sweden for up to £5.6m.

Avon Rubber has acquired Industrial Flexo and Proflex through its Spanish subsidiary for £17m.

Obara Corporation has opened a £3m factory in Reading to make welding equipment for the motor industry, and is expected to recruit up to 100 additional workers in the future.

Bullough is to sell Metallifacture, the automotive products business, to Dura Automotive Systems for £14m.

The North West Development Agency has announced that Nichirin of Japan is to set up a £2.7m car parts headquarters in Manchester with the creation of 70 jobs, and it will make brakes, air conditioning and power steering systems.

Leyland Trucks is creating 30 new jobs at its factory near Preston having won a contract to fit braking systems on Ministry of Defence vehicles.

Lookers is to set up a £4.5m car dealership in Stretford with the creation of 40 jobs, and it will include franchises for Suzuki, Seat and Mazda.

Arriva is selling its car leasing business to the GMAC financial division of General Motors for £226m, in order to focus on the expansion of its public transport business.

Ford is to acquire the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One team for undisclosed terms, as part of a strategy to become a leader in all major motor sports.

Honda has bought 34 acres of land at the Cabot Park distribution park near Avonmouth docks for £10m, in order to double the size of its car distribution centre, and 125 jobs will be created.

Sanderson Bramall is planning to build a new Toyota, Fiat and Alfa Romeo car showroom at Langage in Plymouth, creating 25 jobs.

Toyoda Gosei of Japan is planning to build a plant to make car window seals in Rotherham, creating up to 120 jobs.

Sunderland Council has announced that Esmar of Spain is to set up a new car components factory at the Sunrise Enterprise Park, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Rover is creating 800 new jobs at its Oxford plant in order to build up production of the new R75 saloon car.

Ford has confirmed plans for a £468m project to prepare its Dagenham plant for a new generation of cars, and it will link up with local authorities and other companies to provide training and leisure facilities and a 90-acre supplier park.

Dixon Motors has acquired Loveday & Bennett, the Louth-based VW Audi dealership, for undisclosed terms.

Dentmaster, the remover of dents from car panels, is to be acquired by Manheim Auctions for £11m.

Irish Road Motors is opening a £1.1m car repair centre at Campsie in Londonderry, with the creation of 40 jobs.

NFC has acquired Xpress Group, the provider of wheel assembly services, for £4m, in order to expand its automotive logistics business.

Jensen Motors has applied for government aid towards a new purpose-built factory in Birmingham, which would create at least 60 jobs.

Unipart is to acquire Partco, the automotive parts distributor, for £179m, and Partco will continue to be run by the existing management from its Birmingham headquarters.

Tracker Network, the stolen vehicle recovery company, is to undergo a £39m management buy-out.

Lex Service is to acquire RAC Motoring Services for £437m, and will use the RAC brand on its Autocentre servicing outlets and its Autosales used car chain.

TI Group is to acquire Walbro, the US manufacturer of automotive fuel storage and delivery systems, for £393m.

Matra Datavision is planning to create an extra 20 jobs in Coventry over the next two years, and hopes to benefit from a £50m contract won by its French parent to supply technology engineering services to Renault.

Lex Service is expanding its mechanical handling business with four acquisitions, including Birchwood's contract hire and servicing operation for £3.5m and Liftright Powered Access for £1.4m.

Salvador Caetano of Portugal is seeking to recruit an additional 80 workers for its coach and bus factory in Waterlooville.

Sanderson Bramall has bought Albany Lease, the car hire company, from the receivers for about £4m.

County Durham Development Company has announced that Senstronics is to set up a factory in Newton Aycliffe to make pressure sensors for cars and other industries, with the creation of 200 jobs.

Tomkins has acquired ACD Tridon, the manufacturer of windscreen wiper systems, from Devtek of Canada for £63m.

International Rectifier of the US is about to start recruiting up to 500 workers for its new £25m electronic car components factory in Swansea.

Hyundai Car is to develop a 30-acre car importing facility at the Port of Tilbury, creating at least 20 new jobs.

Ryland Group is to sell a 75% stake in its car leasing operation to a subsidiary of Paribas, the French bank, for £19m, and is close to completing the £7.5m acquisition of Wyndham, the Welsh car dealership.

Kwik-Fit has acquired consulting and training services company TFA Holdings for £1.8m, in order to improve staff communication, technical and managerial skills.

Waters, the Hertfordshire-based Renault, Peugeot and Toyota car dealership, has been sold to management for undisclosed terms.

Ilkeston Co-op Motor Group is to invest £3m opening three new car dealerships in Nottingham, Mansfield and Derby, creating 80 jobs.

Direct Car Finance is planning to set up a new car financing office at the Sunrise Enterprise Park in Sunderland, with the creation of 35 jobs.

The Welsh Development Agency is starting work on a large-scale industrial development at Brocastle that could lead to the creation of 3,000 jobs, and Mexican automotive component company Nemak is interested in building a foundry at the site.

Coventry City Council is in discussions with the Quingqi Group of China about plans to set up a scooters factory in Coventry, which would create about 100 jobs.

Auto Windscreens is to set up a national distribution centre for its vehicle glazing business in Birmingham, with the creation of 25 jobs.

Sanderson Bramall is to create up to 30 new jobs at its new BMG Rover dealership in Chelmsford.

TI is acquiring Kenmore Italiana, the Italian manufacturer of air conditioning for cars, for £20m, and will merge it into its Bundy division.

Lotus has announced plans to return to motorsport with a racing car based on the Elise, and 50 jobs will created at its Norfolk base.

Creative Manufacturing is planning to produce up to 300 Jensen sports cars a year, and will set up a factory near Birmingham that will employ 60 people.

Lex Commercials is creating 30 jobs by keeping its vehicle servicing garage in Stoke-on-Trent open for 24 hours a day.

Lex Service has acquired two subsidiaries of the collapsed Leeds-based Peterhead Group - forklift truck dealership Birchwood Mechanical Services and forklift rental firm Birchwood Mechanical Sales.

Cosworth Technology is to receive a £50m investment from its parent company Volkswagen Audi to expand its factories in Wellingborough, Northampton and Worcester and create 700 new jobs.

Brownhills Garage, the Newark-based motorhomes dealer, has been acquired by a management team for £15m, and is now seeking to grow both organically and by acquisition.

Robert Wright & Son is investing £4.5m in the expansion of its bus building factory in Ballymena which will enable it to produce 700 vehicles a year, and 118 jobs are being created.

Parker Hannifin is to set up a call centre in Derby to control its nationwide network of vans that repair construction and agricultural vehicles, and 10 jobs will be created.

Vauxhall is to set up a £5m engineering centre at Millbrook in Bedfordshire to serve light commercial and recreational vehicle operations, creating 75 new jobs.

Vauxhall and Renault are close to finalising plans to jointly produce a medium-sized van, and about 600 jobs will be created at Vauxhall's Luton plant.

CD Bramall is planning to set up a £1m Rover dealership in Stoke-on-Trent with the creation of 40 jobs.

London Taxis International is planning to set up a £15m factory on the former Keresley Colliery site in Coventry.

Lex Service is acquiring Havelange of Belgium and Hydraulic Services of Ireland for £7m, in order to expand its vehicle distribution business in the EU.

Johnson Controls of the US is planning to set up a car seats factory in Solihull to supply Land Rover, with the creation of 350 jobs.

Sytner Group, the Leicester-based prestige car retailer, has acquired Cooper in the City, the City of London BMW dealer, for an initial £0.7m.

Independent Car Auctions has acquired SEA of France for undisclosed terms, which will give it new sites in Bordeaux, Marseilles and Toulouse.

Alison Associates, the Reading-based supplier of car sales data, has been acquired by Bell & Howell of the US for undisclosed terms.

Nissan is seeking to recruit 800 workers to build a new car at its factory in Washington, Tyne & Wear, as part of a £215m investment project.

Reg Vardy has acquired 12 motor dealerships from Caledonia Motor for £19m, and is now planning to expand further from 77 dealers to 100 by the end of next year.

LucasVarity has agreed a £4bn takeover by TRW, but Federal-Mogul is also interested in acquiring the Anglo-American car components group.

Ford is to acquire Volvo's car division for $6.5bn, while the remaining Volvo truck business has announced plans to close its plant in Irvine with the loss of 250 jobs.

Lotus is to set up an automotive engineering division in Coventry with the creation of 50 jobs.

Adwest Automotive, the manufacturer of gear shifts and engine thermostats, is to be acquired by Dura Automotive of the US for £125m.

Michelin has announced a £12m investment at its Ballymena plant in Northern Ireland in order to expand the production of truck tyres for export to North America, and 115 new jobs have already been created.

Partco has acquired the Plunkett motor parts factoring business from Dixon Motors for £3.2m.

Jennings is to recruit up to 80 staff for its new £4m Ford dealership in Middlesbrough, while Tristar Nesham is scaling down its operations with the loss of 50 jobs having lost the Ford franchise.

Ford and Jardine Motors have confirmed the £28m acquisition of Dagenham Motors, through their Polar Motors joint venture.

The AA is to set up three motoring breakdown supercentres in Cheadle, Halesowen and Thatcham with the creation of 150 jobs, but 390 jobs will be lost at existing sites in Stanmore, Maidstone, Bristol and Belfast.

Quicks Group has bought the Bristol Street Motors dealership in Stourbridge in a £1.1m deal, and an additional 38 jobs will be created.

Rover is linking up with Caterpillar Logistics to set up a major new car parts warehouse at Desford near Hinckley, which will create 250 jobs.

TRW Automotive Systems has confirmed plans to invest £8.8m in the expansion of its hydraulic steering systems plant in Houghton-le-Spring, which will create 107 jobs.