Hendy Group has become one of the UK's largest dealership networks after buying South Coast-based Westover Group.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, sees Hampshire-based Hendy become a £1bn turnover company, with 2,000 employees and operations from Exeter to Eastbourne.
Hendy Chief Executive Paul Hendy said the acquisition was a key milestone for the company, which this year celebrates its 160th anniversary.
"Westover is a hugely successful group and shares our philosophy of delivering a premium service and putting the customer and its employees at the heart of operations," said Paul.
"It's very much business as usual, and all the dealerships will continue under the Westover name for the immediate future as the business is integrated into Hendy Group."
The acquisition means Hendy Group now operates 26 franchises from 83 outlets and reinforces the group's portfolio in Dorset, where the Group already operates truck dealerships.
Hendy also operated car dealerships in Dorset from 1913 to 1998, and the county continues to be home to a number of the Hendy family members.
Westover Chairman Peter Wood said: "After more than 50 years in the motor industry I have decided that it is time to bow out. Westover has been my passion now for more than 40 years and to find a suitable company to hand it over to, which has the same ethos of looking after its staff and customers, has not been easy.
"We believe that in Hendy we have found that, and from the beginning of my discussions with Paul Hendy it became clear that the manner and way we operate our businesses is very similar.
"It has been a long and interesting journey with Westover, starting as Sales Director in the mid-70s though to Managing Director in 1979, then leading a management buy-out in 1984. At that stage Westover was two branches with Austin Rover and 80 employees.
"I am very proud of what the managers and staff, many of whom are still with Westover Group, have achieved in the past 40 years."
Paul said he was tremendously proud to add the Westover Group to the Hendy portfolio. "Our investments and acquisitions in the last few years have put us in an extremely good position for the future, and the integration of Westover will strengthen this position still further as we continue to look to the future."
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