AAG’s Nick Hood elaborates on CAAR group buyout

AAG’s Nick Hood elaborates on CAAR group buyout

Previously, PMF interviewed Nick Hood about his new position following Alliance Automotive Group UK’s acquisition of the CAAR group. Here, in part two of the interview, Nick answers our questions regarding the buyout itself.

Q. Having been in-place for a little while now, in-charge of overseeing CAAR group activities, have you had opportunities to discuss the acquisition with CAAR members? If so, what has been the overriding feeling?

A. “Absolutely! Communication with members is a key part of our strategy, and whilst I’ve not yet had the opportunity to talk to all of the nearing 300 members, which is something I intend to do in the fullness of time, I have spoken to a good number of them.

“As with any unexpected sizeable change, the first 48 hours created some trepidation with some members, but from that point on, after we had spoken with many of them and explained the reasons behind the acquisition and an outline of our direction for the group, we’ve seen great support and excitement about the future.

“Many of them understand and see the acquisition as the right fit, plus going from a trading group with limited resources and no central warehouse to entering the AAG family with 30-plus regional distribution centres and its new upcoming national distribution centre, reaching almost one million square foot, could cause some optimism about the future.”

Q. Have there been any concerns? If so, how have you appeased those?

A. “In the first couple of weeks, there were some questions – and possibly some concerns – but we’ve done our best to address these, to talk with members and to explain the situation in great detail.

“It’s an open door policy; the CAAR group is part of the AAG family, and we are happy to embrace questions, concerns, feedback and ideas. The main part of my role involves looking after and developing CAAR and as such, I’m open to receiving all communications and concerns from CAAR members. My contact details are readily available at the bottom of the opening page of the members’ magazine Trade Talk.

“I’d be tempted to say it’s business as usual but not quite, because AAG has acquired CAAR to add value and to develop the group, so there will be a change, but a real positive change for the group and its members. Some aspects remain the same because it’s not a takeover – we don’t own the CAAR membership.”

Q. Will CAAR branches still operate as such?

A. “They will; just as when AAG acquired UAN, the identity of CAAR remains. The members of CAAR are independently owned businesses who have a choice. My job is to make sure we are presenting them with the very best support and tools to succeed, ensuring they want to remain a member of CAAR.”

Q. How will the buyout of CAAR impact AAG’s current retail offering?

A. “This is a real positive step; AAG has focused nearly all its attention on its trade offer and retail has been somewhat a poor relation, but AAG has never really had a specific retail requirement to focus on. The CAAR group presents this, and we are excited by the opportunity and will be looking to grow and develop this with the same full force approach we’ve successfully applied to other strategic areas of our business.”

For more information about AAG, click here.

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