Gowan Group to close landmark Dublin car dealerships and sell sites

Maughan family company to sell Merrion Road, Dublin premises for estimated €18m

Gowan Motors dealership on Merrion Road. The company has the franchise for Peugeot and Honda. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Gowan Motors dealership on Merrion Road. The company has the franchise for Peugeot and Honda. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Two prominent Dublin car dealerships owned by the Gowan Group are to close, with its landmark outlet in Ballsbridge, Dublin being sold for an estimated €18 million.

The business owned by the Maughan family, which holds the Irish franchise for Peugeot and Honda vehicles, is closing its dealerships in Merrion Road, Dublin 4, and another just off the Glenageary Roundabout in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Both businesses are due to shut next month with the loss of up to 15 jobs.

The Merrion dealership, which has been in operation for over 30 years, is split between a sales operation on one side of the road and an aftersales service facility on the other. A spokeswoman for Peugeot said the site had been delivering an exemplary performance for the company, but its limitations meant it could not be expanded or converted to meet the future plans for the brand. It’s expected the new owner may seek to develop the property for residential purposes.

Supermarket development

Sources suggest the Dún Laoghaire site, believed to be valued at €3 million, is likely to go on the market in the coming weeks. It has been suggested as a potential location for a future supermarket development, although a spokeswoman for Gowan Group declined to give details on the sale of either dealership. The Dún Laoghaire facility has been the group’s main outlet for Honda in south Dublin, along with selling cars for Kia.

The group recently appointed two new authorised Peugeot dealers in Stillorgan and Tallaght. Gowan Motors said it will continue its own retail sales and aftersales business at its facility on the Navan Road.

In a statement issued on Thursday Michael Dwan, chief executive of Gowan Group, said: “We have reviewed our retail network in Dublin in light of today’s market requirements. Our properties on the Merrion Road and Dún Laoghaire are not suitable for redevelopment as modern dealerships and, as a consequence, we have decided to cease trading there.”

The Gowan Group has a number of other trading divisions. It owns Senator Windows and the KAL Group, which sells kitchen white goods and is an electronics distributor with brands such as De Dietrich, Nordmende, AGA, Franke, Haier, Sharp and Elica. The group also has an extensive property and investment division.

The group is chaired by veteran Dublin businesswoman Gemma Maughan. The last filed accounts for the group’s holding company Convest shows sales in the business rose by €15.4 million to €166.6 million in 2016. Profit for the year was €1.2 million.

So far this year, the group’s Peugeot car brand has recorded new car sales of 5,522, giving it a 4.4 per cent share of the Irish new car market, while Honda had sales of 1,319, with a 1 per cent market share. Of these, sales in Co Dublin accounted to 2,018 Peugeots and 444 Hondas. Peugeot has also recorded 1,618 van sales so far this year, of which 741 were registered in Co Dublin.