SOUTH coast automotive group Hendy has rounded off a successful 2018 with the acquisition of Hampshire based Seward Group.

Chief executive Paul Hendy said the purchase of the group, which has dealerships in Portsmouth and Havant, was a strategic move for the company and consolidates Hendy’s strong position in the area.

Seward Group operates Renault and Dacia franchises in Bilton Way, Portsmouth, and a Suzuki franchise in West Street, Havant.

“The Portsmouth region is hugely important for Hendy where we already operate a number of dealerships and our existing Car and Van Store,” said Paul. “This acquisition expands our franchise operations in the area and brings on board a strong new, used and aftersales business.”

“We are delighted to add these new locations to the Hendy Group portfolio,” said Paul. “We already operate franchises for Renault, Dacia and Suzuki and this acquisition strengthens our relationships with these companies.”

The Car and Van Store, which opened in July, was created from the purchase and rebranding of Unbeatablecar Portsmouth.

At the end of December Hendy opened three three new dealerships in its new £9m Villeneuve Road in Eastleigh showroom selling Honda, Kia and Mazda.

It is currently refurbishing its Leigh Road premises which is set to be relaunched as a FordStore.

The group also has plans to open its Dorset-based Car Store used car showroom in Ferndown, which will join the recently-opened Tunbridge Wells-based Mazda.

With the addition of the Seward Group, Hendy now has 57 franchise outlets across 30 locations and employs more than 1,100 people in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Devon.