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2015 sees Penton Motor Group celebrate 25 years as a Citroen dealer in Salisbury and 20 years as a Citroen dealer in Christchurch.

Penton Motor Group is an established family owned group of companies already operating a Citroen dealership in Christchurch and a combined Citroen and Vauxhall dealership in Salisbury.

The companies are owned and managed by Robert Wilson and his two sons, Stephen and Charlie, together with a highly competent team. 

We started the Penton Companies at Penton Corner, Andover in 1987 selling Trucks, vans and used cars. We obtained the Citroen Franchise for that site in 1990 and in the course of setting that up The Citroen Franchise also became available in Salisbury when previous incumbent got into cash flow difficulties on Stephenson Road, Churchfields (Where County Tiles are now).  We took over the business and the property moving into that Stephenson Road building within seven days from Saturday to Saturday since first viewing. We burned the midnight oil with Receivers, Solicitors and Citroen getting the deal in place to retain the staff and the existing customers and effected a virtually seamless change over. We had no signed lease and took a chance that the Landlord would sign it over to us. That lease took a year to get agreement but we were in and selling cars while negotiating.
Penton Corner in 1994 Building Penton Corner in 1989

We brought a team of Irish builders over to completely gut and renovate the building while still working and selling amongst the debris. They operated like worker ants twelve hours a day and finished in five weeks.

The Andover Citroen Franchise although first to be agreed started selling new Citroens about six months later as we had to build workshops on to the Penton Corner site.

In late 1994 we bought the Toyota Dealership then located on Castle Street Salisbury from Caffyns Plc. and virtually in the same week we Bought the Weyhill BP Shop & Filling Station with Nissan Dealership near Andover.

In early 1995 the Elfords, Tuckton Road, Christchurch, Citroen dealership was for sale with several contenders who had more influence with Citroen than us. We slipped around the side door and Stephen bought quickly in March under their noses and then convinced Citroen that we were the best bet.

We had to look at our best options when we had bought three dealerships within six months in three towns. We had Citroen and Nissan at two locations in Andover, Citroen and Toyota at two locations in Salisbury, Citroen at Christchurch. Salisbury and Bournemouth were the best locations as shopping destinations. After we turned around into profit we sold off the Toyota dealership in Salisbury as we had taken on a bit too much in six months and the property there was Leasehold. Toyota wanted us to re-locate and expand and it was a bit much at the time.

We sold all our Andover dealerships in 2000-2002 partly for development across three sites we obtained planning for eighty houses. We decided to concentrate on the larger market areas of Salisbury and Bournemouth.

We set course to have three dealerships in our triangle of Salisbury to the North, Christchurch to the East and Poole to the West. It has taken a few years to achieve our plan and this now been accomplished.

In 2011 we completed a sale for development of our Tuckton Road Christchurch Citroen property which was getting tired. We acquired the 3.6 acre Somerford Road property and developed a new dealership to the latest Citroen corporate standards which opened on 9th March 2012. We sold part of the land for a Wickes store which created the cash for yet another Citroen investment in Poole on a 3.1 acre site completed in February 2015. In Salisbury we were awarded the Vauxhall franchise and we expanded the facility there by adding a new build Vauxhall showroom to corporate standards in January 2014.

The Group is on course to increase it's turnover to over £40m in the 2015-6 tax year.

Penton Citroen in Tuckton Penton Citroen in Christchurch (Somerford Road)

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