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Business Report (South Africa): McCarthy acquires Shell Autoserv chain

February 6, 2007
By Roy Cokayne

Pretoria – McCarthy, the vehicle retailing division of Bidvest, has acquired the Shell Autoserv chain of stand-alone service centres from Shell South Africa. The purchase price was undisclosed.

The acquisition, which is subject to competition approval, comes against the backdrop of record new vehicle sales in recent years, which has placed the servicing capacity of major motor dealerships under severe pressure.

McCarthy chief executive Brand Pretorius said yesterday that the acquisition of Shell Autoserv, which has 28 outlets nationally, would enhance the critical mass of McCarthy’s dealer footprint, especially in regard to servicing vehicles that were no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Pretorius said the national car park had grown significantly in recent years. The proportion of vehicles aged between four and seven years was forecast to rise from 20.8 percent to about 30 percent of the total vehicle population in the medium term, equal to more than 3 million vehicles.

McCarthy Motor Holdings is also due to launch a range of Chinese vehicles into the local market early this year and Pretorius said the acquisition would back up the launch “with a minimum of 28 service outlets, which will enhance the sales potential of the vehicles and give us immediate countrywide after-sales support”.

Pretorius added that McCarthy would retain the Shell Autoserv staff in McCarthy’s branch network to benefit from their technical expertise.

Monwabisi Fandeso, the country chair of Shell SA, said the group had taken a strategic decision to withdraw from the after-warranty car servicing and repair market at the same time as McCarthy was expanding its service outlets “so this deal will benefit both companies and the motoring public”.

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