Paragon Automotive is investing £4.7 million over the next 12 months to support its growth plans in new car management, de-fleet and remarketing.
The investment will expand capacity at its port operations across the UK. Paragon is developing sites to meet the anticipated additional storage requirements and operational capacity required to process vehicles.
It will also fund further investment in new technology that will enable the de-fleet process to be shortened.
Ian Carlisle, chief executive officer of Paragon, said: “The automotive sector led the recovery and is showing all the signs of sustained growth. But with car sales continuing to accelerate, pressure is building throughout the supply chain. The industry is facing some big challenges and we believe that new technology, coupled with fresh thinking, can deliver a step change in efficiency.
“Additionally, we are investing in all areas of our operation to create capacity and recruit new staff. From workshop operatives to drivers, it is important that the motor industry raises its game to attract young talent, and encourage people who left the sector to return. There is clear evidence of skills shortages across the UK and this will hold back growth in the long term.”
Paragon is recruiting in all areas of the business but faces pressure on drivers, people with technical skills and strategic managers, who are key to enabling the sector to continue to grow.
The company has launched an apprenticeship scheme to bring new talent into the industry and is rolling out a development program to give its middle and junior managers the skills to become future leaders. It has also developed a local school initiative to promote awareness of Paragon and a career in the automotive industry.