Group expands with Opel

CORK-based dealer Kevin O’Leary Motor Group is planning a significant expansion despite losing its BMW contract.

The company said, following the decision by the German car maker not to renew its contract, it had secured an Opel dealership for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

The move by BMW follows a review being undertaken by the German car manufacturer in Ireland.

It said it is not renewing a number of contracts, which also includes that of Maxwell Motors in Blackrock, Dublin.

BMW would not confirm how many other dealers will not have their contracts renewed, but the number is believed to be around seven.

It said the decision was taken because “dealers failed to meet certain criteria set by BMW”.

However, a spokesman for Kevin O’Leary Motor Group said the decision was “completely unexpected”.

He said they had “met and exceeded all targets jointly agreed with BMW Ireland” and “excelled in all aspects of stringent franchise dealer standards”.

The spokesman added that they were “led to believe by senior management that the renewal of our contract was a formality”.

The contract will terminate at the end of September.

However, the company said that from July this year it will operate a main Opel dealership from Silversprings for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. This will be their third Opel franchise and this, said the company will make Kevin O’Leary Group the largest Opel retailer in Ireland.

The plan is to operate the new Opel dealership from Silversprings for 18 months and then transfer to a new purpose built facility on the North/West side of the city.

This new facility will be the location for a planned Kevin O’Leary Group Motor Park.

No compensation will be paid.

A spokesman for Kevin O’Leary Motor Group said: “We are delighted to have operated the BMW franchise successfully for 21 years and would like to thank all our customers.

“We are surprised at BMW Ireland’s decision and do not feel it will benefit the BMW customer in Cork. It is extraordinary that the management team at BMW Ireland have decided to finish their relationship with 30% of their dealer network in this manner.”

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