24th February 2018
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New firm takes over Central Garage

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One of Shetland’s best-known car dealers has been taken over.

New venture Hillside Motors Ltd has taken control of Central Garage in Brae, which has represented the Citroën brand for over 30 years.

It has also retained the majority of the Central Garage workforce.

Hillside will give its name to the outlet, meaning the long-running Central Garage tag will be no more.

The move marks the end of Shetland having a recognised sales franchise for the French car brand, which produces the ever-successful Berlingo model.

However Hillside’s managing director Martin Tregonning said customers would still be able to buy their new Citroëns from Brae, and have them serviced there.

He is in discussions with two unnamed mainland dealers to ship cars to the isles.

Doing so will help the business effectively piggy-back on a larger organisation, and keep costs down.

“It is increasingly difficult for small, independent dealerships to compete against large, mainland dealers, and so we are looking to team up with a mainland dealer to supply the Shetland market.

“Old favourites – like the Berlingo, or indeed any other Citroën model – will still be available through a local company, but with the backing and buying power of a large dealership behind it.”

Mr Tregonning said many new cars brought to Shetland were bought by their owners down south. But he insisted that was being felt industry-wide in Shetland, and paid tribute to the workforce in Brae.

“The existing company decided to cease trading. Graham [Henderson, of Star Rent-A-Car] was too busy with Star. It’s taken off, now they’ve got 300 cars. He just wasn’t able to run two businesses. And so he decided to bow out of one. There was an opportunity here because the workshop boys are good.”

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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