Owner Inchcape says the UK car pricing issue was a factor in the restructuring, which is intended to allow the group to focus on direct customer-facing business and take advantage of new e-commerce technology to drive costs down. The new organisation, Inchcape UK, will also work closely with Inchcape's internet-based car retailing service Autobytel. Import and distribution services for Mazda, Kia, Toyota and Ferrari remain independent from the new structure, which is headed by chief executive Chris Franklin, formerly Inchcape's regional director for Europe and South America.
Both Brian Back and Jeremy Shepherd continue in their respective positions as managing director of MEVC/Kenning Leaseline and managing director of Seaking Automotive and all three companies will retain their individual identities. Back takes on the additional role of managing director, UK fleet and leasing operations, and Shepherd is UK Business Services managing director. Robert Hazelwood, a former Citroen UK fleet operations chief, has been appointed managing director of Inchcape Motors Retail, which includes Wadham Kenning, Mann Egerton and HA Fox.