Former Inchcape UK boss James Brearley joins Scottish dealership chain Peter Vardy Group
- Brearley was previously linked with the CEO post at Marshall Motor Holdings
- Peter Vardy is a Motherwell-based dealership with 15 outlets across Scotland
- UK vehicle registration levels remain 20% down on pre-pandemic levels
Inchcape UK’s former chief executive has been named the new chief operating officer of the Scottish car dealership chain Peter Vardy Group.
James Brearley left Inchcape at the end of 2021, having spent five years running its British business, where he oversaw a significant restructuring of its operations.
His tenure also coincided with the pandemic, which sent the FTSE 250 firm’s sales plummeting as onerous travel restrictions discouraged housebound consumers from buying motors.
Dealership chain: Peter Vardy Group has 15 outlets across Scotland selling cars from brands including BMW, Mini, Porsche, Jaguar and Land Rover
But trading recovered healthily during his final year in charge, with pre-tax profits more than doubling to £296million amid a release of pent-up demand and vehicle supply shortages driving higher margins.
After leaving the company, Brearley was linked with the chief executive position at Marshall Motor Holdings following its £325million acquisition by Constellation Automotive Group, the owner of Cinch and Webuyanycar.com.
But he has instead agreed to join Peter Vardy, a Motherwell-based dealer with 15 outlets across Scotland selling cars from brands including BMW, Mini, Porsche, Jaguar and Land Rover.
Founder Peter Vardy said Brearley’s appointment as head of operations would help the firm ‘significantly expand’ this decade.
He added: ‘James’s extensive experience in both automotive retail and distribution make him an invaluable addition to our leadership team as we continue our growth plans globally.’
Vardy’s business achieved a record performance in 2021 thanks to higher sales volumes and prices of secondhand vehicles rising month-on-month.
The year also saw the firm end its 15-year partnership with Vauxhall, rebrand its used car supermarket sites to Peter Vardy CARZ and launch the delivery service CARZ Direct and a new mobility division.
Growing the mobility segment forms a core element of the group’s 2030 strategy, which includes a target to lease 15,000 new vehicles by 2026.
Brearley said: ‘Our industry is undergoing significant changes, which will undoubtedly present opportunities as smaller operators seek to exit and only the most capable large operators thrive.
‘The Peter Vardy Group truly understands retail, possesses strong financial backing, and has embraced technology to drive growth and streamline costs.
‘We have an outstanding platform for expansion, and I am eagerly looking forward to this exciting period ahead.’
Brearley was previously the managing director of Stratstone, whose parent company Pendragon spent £506million in 2005 purchasing dealership chain Reg Vardy, founded by Peter Vardy’s grandfather precisely a century ago.
His appointment comes as figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed the new UK car market recorded its longest period of uninterrupted growth since 2015 in May.
New car sales have grown for ten successive months in Britain, although the number of vehicle registrations remains more than a fifth down on pre-pandemic levels.