A management buy-out has been completed at one of the North-east's oldest motor dealers, it was announced today.
Jennings, which has Ford, Mazda, Seat, Subaru and Isuzu dealerships across the region has been bought in a deal led by sales director Nas Khan for an undisclosed sum.
The deal includes all six Jennings sites across the North-east in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Morpeth, Gateshead, Washington and Sunderland.
Mr Khan will now become group managing director.
He said: "It is a terrific honour to become managing director of Jennings.
"We will continue to grow and evolve. We have gone from having six staff in 1911 to employing more than 700 in 2005."
His first job was as car sales executive at JenningsFord in Stockton, about 20 years ago.
Going into the motor trade was a "complete fluke" for Mr Khan.
He had "more or less decided" on a career in accountancy, but after graduating, decided to take a year out. He needed to earn some money so flicked through the jobs section in the Evening Gazette and saw an advert for car sales executives at Jennings.
He joined in 1985 and was soon promoted to sales manager at the Stockton dealership.
By 1992 he was group sales and marketing director and took part in a management buy-out that saw him and fellow directors purchase the company from the original Jennings family.
Jennings was established in 1903 in Morpeth as a bike sales and repair business before moving into the emerging car market in 1911.
In 1917 the company become one of the first Ford main dealers in the UK and remains the largest Ford dealer in the North-east today..
Alongside Ford, the company also operates franchises for Mazda, Subaru and Seat.
The firm expanded to Teesside in 1984 with the opening of its Stockton dealership at Preston Farm and later in Middlesbrough in 2000 at Cargo Fleet Lane.
Jennings created 30 jobs last year with the opening of a 8,000sq ft multi-million pound dealership site in Middlesbrough.