Turner Motor Group (“TMG”) – the story so far…
24 July 2023
Birketts sat down with Ian and Glen Turner after the recent sale of their Hyundai dealerships (and Body Shop) to Endeavour Motor Group – following on from their sale a few years back of their Toyota and Lexus dealerships – (both of which deals Birketts acted for TMG on), to talk about TMG’s journey, as well as what the future holds.
It all began over 50 years ago when Pauline Turner (Ian and Glen’s mum, who is still alive today) won a Ford Cortina in a competition, which helped to inspire and finance the launch of Turner Motor Group. TMG was founded by husband-and-wife team John and Pauline Turner (Ian and Glen’s parents) who sold that Cortina, purchased the site of an old bacon curing factory in Suffolk and then set about converting the building into a motor dealership.
Ian and Glen
Having seen the success and growth that their father and mother had achieved, on leaving school Ian and Glen both followed them into the family business. The boys had seen their parents not only become successful motor dealers but also successfully “knock buildings about” since the early 1960’s, finding new ways to make best use of the former bacon curing factory and then additional buildings and premises as their success continued. Not only for TMG to use for its own motor business but also to let out to others in the motor trade and beyond.
The boys became directors at a young age and when their father suffered a heart attack aged 50 in the early 1980’s he was out of the business for several months during a period of convalescence, so they were suddenly handed a lot of autonomy. The boys had obviously learnt well, as when John thankfully recovered and came back into the business, Ian and Glen were given more and more responsibility – and have been running TMG successfully for quite a while now!
TMG’s core strategies and philosophies
- From the get-go it’s property owners first and motor dealers second.
- Always plan ahead, including for the “what if” scenario, always have “escape routes” (so a “Plan B” as well as a “Plan C”) and don’t be afraid for an escape route to become an actual strategy.
- Everything is always for sale – at the right price.
- Treat your staff like you want your customers to be treated.
- Manufacturers/OEM’s – with the right “escape route” (/Plan B etc) in place, you can avoid being overdependent on any OEM (or their current strategy) and can usually find a good way through any challenges.
- Professionals (lawyers, accountants, bankers, surveyors etc) – we use motor trade specialist professionals (and also look to get their input at the right time i.e. at an early stage).
- Always look for the opportunity – even in the most apparently adverse circumstances.
- Scale up when you have the right opportunity.
- Pick winners.
This brings us nicely to the future for TMG. The next generation of the Turner family have not followed Ian and Glen into the motor trade and so – for now at least – TMG is mainly landlord to motor dealers (and to others in the motor trade) rather than running the dealerships itself. But, in keeping with their core strategies, they are still on the look-out for good opportunities!
The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at July 2023.