East Anglia: Desira motor dealership group sees growth despite challenging times

THE managing director of East Anglia-based car firm Desira Group is confident turnover will continue to grow this year despite a challenging climate for the motor industry.

The group operates eight car showrooms across Norfolk, Suffolk and north London, including Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Peugeot dealerships in Bury St Edmunds and Citroen and Fiat outlets in Diss, and besides the recently-acqurired former Marshalls Peugeot dealership in Bury it has also recent acquired new land in Great Yarmouth.

Stuart Stone, managing director of Desira Group, which also operates a spare parts company with its own call centre and delivery fleet, said: “We can only continue to expand if we keep investing in our business and recruiting more of the right people as we need to make sure we keep taking a bigger slice of, if anything, a slightly smaller cake – which so far we have been able to do.”

Recently published company accounts for 2011 show group turnover increased almost 7% to �62million in 2011 with operating profit remaining stable at �451,697. Staff numbers at the company have increased to almost 250 during the last year.

Mr Stone said: “We undertook some major cost cutting in 2009 and that is now starting to show real benefits. This current year has seen considerable progress for us with the acquisition of Marshalls Peugeot in Bury St Edmunds, which adds a new franchise to the group.”

The dealership, on the Morton Hall Industrial Estate, also has a large area housing 60 used cars and vans.

Desira Group has also bought land next to its current Citroen dealership in Yarmouth, where existing buildings are being demolished to make way for a large used car display. The Citroen showroom itself is also set to undergo a major makeover.

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Mr Stone said: “Looking at this year new car sales are largely static compared to last but where we are seeing a big growth is in used cars where sales are up by 15%. In response to this we now have over 400 used cars and commercial vehicles available at any one time.”