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About Group 1 Automotive
Group 1 Automotive is an international automotive retailer group and has come to be a trusted seller of vehicles by a range of marques. With over 70 sites currently operating in the UK, we believe in nothing less than automotive excellence, which is at the forefront of our customer service. Our long history has positioned us at the very pinnacle of automotive retailing as we continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.
Made up of subsidiary groups, Group 1 Automotive have dedicated specialist teams who strive to deliver a quality of service that cannot be found elsewhere. We will always put your needs first, making sure that you are on the road without any stresses or worries. Whatever your needs, our team of manufacturer experts are here to provide an unrivalled experience for you and give your vehicle all the care and attention it deserves.
Group 1 Automotive history
In March 2007, Group 1 Automotive launched their UK operation and founded the Barons Group when they acquired their first BMW and MINI dealerships. Essex Audi then became a part of the Barons Group in 2012 when Group 1 Automotive acquired their first UK Audi dealerships.
Think Ford was founded in February 2013 when Group 1 Automotive obtained their Farnborough, Guildford, Wokingham and Bracknell Ford centres under the Barons Group, which were formerly part of Inchcape. Later in December 2014, Elms BMW and MINI joined the UK Barons Group network.
2016 saw Spire Automotive become part of Group 1 Automotive’s subsidiary, the Barons Group, representing Audi, BMW, MINI, Volkswagen Commercial, SEAT and ŠKODA across Essex, Hertfordshire and London. A year later, Group 1 Automotive acquired the Beadles Group, which joined their Barons Group operation.
Founded in 1987, the Beadles group is based in Dartford and represents Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, ŠKODA, Toyota and Volkswagen across Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.
In March 2018, the Barons Group acquired five Mercedes-Benz and three smart dealerships, originally part of the Robinsons Motor Group. The Mercedes-Benz dealerships are based in Bury St. Edmunds, Cambridge, Kings Lynn, Norwich and Peterborough, with the smart dealerships situated in Cambridge, Norwich and Peterborough.
“We believe in automotive excellence for all of our customers.”
Barons & Chandlers
Group 1 Automotive first entered the UK market in March 2007 after acquiring Chandlers in Brighton, Hailsham and Worthing. This acquisition was Group 1 Automotive’s very first UK representation.
Three years later, in March 2010, Group 1 Automotive acquired their first BMW and MINI dealerships, which saw the founding of the Barons Group. Since then, the Barons Group has acquired a number of dealerships including Audi, BMW, MINI, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, SEAT and smart.
“Our customers deserve only the best, which isexactly what we offer them.”
Founded in February 2013, Think Ford was originally made up of Ford centres in Bracknell, Farnborough, Guildford and Wokingham, which were formally part of Inchcape. These dealers were acquired as part of the Barons Group subsidiary and the Think Ford name was born.
Our network of Think Ford dealerships has been supporting motorists in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey for many years now. We are your friendly, respected and knowledgeable supplier of new and approved used cars, parts and services at seven different locations.
At Think Ford, our focus is always on you. We aim to make sure that you leave completely satisfied, regardless of your reason for visiting us. Most of our team members have at leave five years of experience in the motoring industry, with some proudly claiming decades of dedicated service. We are all passionate about Ford and are honoured to represent the brand.
For as long as you own a Ford, you are a member of the caring and dedicated Think Ford family. We will look after you and your Ford with extensive aftersale support. Come to us for competitively-priced maintenance, finance, insurance and warranty packages, and a fair price for part-exchange on your current vehicle.
“You can trust our Think Ford team to bring you the best possible Ford experience.”
The Beadles Group was established in Lowfield Street, Dartford, in 1893 by its founder, John Clayton Beadle. In 1915, it became a limited company trading under the name of Beadles Dartford Limited and operated from new premises in Spital Street, Dartford. This company still trades to this day, as our Volkswagen retailer in Princes Road, Dartford.
During the mid-1930s, John’s daughter, Nancy, married Reginald Rootes. Rootes was already a successful motor manufacturer and retailer - his name lives on through the Peugeot dealer, Rootes of Maidstone. In 1969, Beadles acquired premises in Main Road, Sidcup, operating the Rover franchise.
On December 20th 1955, John Clayton Beadles died at the age of 83 leaving behind a son, a daughter and the name of the company he founded. The business then transferred to Sir Reginald and Lady nancy’s son, Timothy, who sold it to the company’s senior managers in 1987. Beadles Group Limited was then founded.
Beadles Group now represents Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, ŠKODA, Toyota and Volkswagen from thirteen motor retail centres across Kent. We also have a dedicated Volkswagen Van Centre in Dartford.
Having been established since 1915, our heritage is steeped in the tradition of providing quality products and customer service. We have grown considerably in recent years, both organically and through acquisition.
We are proud to have celebrated our 100 year anniversary in 2015, and we look forward to serving our loyal customers for many more years to come.
“We will continually exceed our customers’ expectations.”