FAST-GROWING car dealership group Vertu is creating 19 jobs at its support centre in Gateshead to handle sales enquiries from customers nationwide.
The Gateshead firm, which has grown over the last five years to be the ninth largest motor retailer in the UK, will see the launch of a new base for the company’s sales team on Team Valley.
The new jobs include 17 aftersales contact centre positions and two further receptionists for its centralised reception service centre, who will join a 100-strong team already based at the retailer’s head office
Vertu was founded in 2006 as a new entrant into the UK motor retail sector and is listed on the Alternative Investment Market. It was formed to acquire and consolidate UK motor retail businesses and made its first acquisition of 32 dealerships from Bristol Street Motors in February 2007.
Chief executive Robert Forrester has led the company to growth by acquiring a further 33 dealerships, with 26 undergoing major refurbishment work. The total number of sales outlets in its portfolio is now 83.
He said: “When four of us founded the Group from a single office in Newcastle in late 2006, it was difficult to imagine that we would now employ nearly 3,000 people across the UK.
“ I am delighted to see Vertu become a significant employer in Gateshead. “The passion and commitment of our team is incredible and delivering great results for all the dealerships.”
This year he aims to drive sales past the £1bn mark this year as it betters the UK motor market which is struggling with a lack of confidence.
The company has been seeing sales grow ahead of the market average and this is the most important month for profits in the industry, because the new registration plate comes in, which also impacts on when used cars are serviced.
It recently signed a £2m deal for a Vauxhall business in Northampton which it intends to relocate to a new state-of-the art site.
It is the eleventh Vauxhall dealership on the group’s books. The group’s portfolio of dealerships also includes Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Chrysler Jeep, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Peugeot and SEAT outlets.