Countrywide, which was set up in 1989, was part of the FRF Group, an automotive firm including dealer franchises for Vauxhall, Mazda, Peugeot, and Volvo. It has been absorbed into FMC and the Countrywide name has ceased trading. Two of Countrywide's 16 staff have been employed by FMC.
FMC managing director Andy Mitchell said: 'At a time when the contract hire industry is seeing increasing consolidation creating fewer, larger players, this deal will secure FMC's position in the market and provide a solid platform for us to continue to build our fleet.' However, John Tumelty, FMC's operations director ruled out a push for the 'big league' of contract hire companies. 'I would not see our fleet rising above 12-16,000,' he said.