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Lookers was founded in 1908 by John Looker in Manchester. In their humble beginnings, the company began by selling bicycles, used cars, parts, and accessories. Nowadays they represent 32 brands throughout the UK and Ireland.
In 1910, John Looker’s company joined forces with another garage owner located in central Manchester and together they became Lookers Ltd. For the most part, Lookers was a Ford dealer, and in 1911 the garage in the middle of Manchester was rebuilt entirely to fit in with the Ford business.
In 1918, Lookers became a distributor of Austin Motor Company. It continued to grow throughout Lancashire and Cheshire while they also acquired a string of new garages. There was even a slogan “Lookers in Austin” that for many years closely associated these two companies. The business was thriving until World War II, when in 1939 the Austin factory committed itself to the war effort.
In 1972, the company's headquarters were relocated to Chester Road in Timperley. Lookers became a publicly-listed company on the London Stock Exchange.
A decade later the company completed its £3 million purchase of the Braid Group in 1983. The acquisition of this major Liverpool based dealership group skyrocketed the company's sales up to £150 million within the first year.
The company started diversifying by acquiring various dealerships with the purchase of SMAC Continental for £14.7 million in 1989, followed by the Northern Ireland based Charles Hurst Group in February 1996 and with the acquisition of Elt Brothers in August 2002, Lookers further reinforced their Vauxhall network.
In October 2007, Lookers bought Dutton Forshaw from Lloyds TSB for £60 million. However, the most significant date for this company was the 3rd of September 2015, when it acquired the Tyneside based Benfield Motor Group for £87.5 million and became the third biggest car dealership in the country. Benfield includes a lot of car brands such as Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, Škoda, Kia, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Toyota, and Ford.
In July 2017, Lookers’ headquarters moved to Altrincham.
Charles Hurst Group
Formed in the early twentieth century, in 1911, the Charles Hurst Group became the leading Motor Group in Northern Ireland through its centuries-old tradition. From humble beginnings, the Group has grown into a very respectable Motor Group that currently employs over 700 people. Throughout history, the Group has continuously expanded its product range by offering its customers both used and new vehicles. The company is headquartered in Belfast and offers customers a wide range of cars that has increased since the establishment of the company . A considerable number of diligent and hardworking people have been part of the company's management, Therefore, the company has been able to achieve a lot of its goals. Throughout the company's many years of existence, a lot of important deals have been signed with many world-renowned brands such as Bentley, Jaguar, Lexus, Citroen, Toyota, Renault, Kia and many others.
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