Snows Group have purchased Picador, the Hampshire Vauxhall dealer group. Picador have been retailing Vauxhall vehicles for almost 60 years.

Around 90 staff from Picador’s dealerships at Sholing in Southampton and Chandler’s Ford near Eastleigh are expected to join Snows through the acquisition.

Picador chief executive Graham Jacobs is retiring after more than 40 years at the helm. The business was originally purchased by his father Lionel in 1966. The family then moved into a flat above the showroom. Over time, the business expanded to represent Chevrolet and Renault, and still holds authorised service franchises for Renault and Dacia.

A great believer in leading from the front, Jacobs famously often maintained a presence in his showrooms. He was often to be found greeting customers and demonstrating to his staff how to resolve challenges. At the time, Picador was achieving three times the average profitability of a Vauxhall dealership and retaining 65% of its new car customers for repeat business.

The takeover will see the demise of the Picador trading name. The dealerships will be rebranded as Snows Vauxhall from 1 September 2022.

Strengthened Position

Neil McCue, chief operating officer for Snows, said: “Picador is a great addition to the Snows family. We are very excited to take on this great business and warmly welcome Picador staff to Snows. Like Snows, Picador was established 60 years ago with a well-respected name in the region. We hope their loyal customers will choose to enjoy the same excellent standards of service from us. This exciting acquisition enables us to offer new and used Vauxhall cars and vans and used car sales. Additionally, we will offer repairs and servicing for the Renault and Dacia brands. Our strengthened position will mean even greater choice of quality vehicles for our customers.”

Prior to the acquisition of Picador, Snows managed 48 dealerships and represented 17 brands.  These included three approved service centres, 12 multi-franchise used car centres and a standalone accident repair centre. A total of 993 staff were employed. The acquisition of Hamble Motors in Southampton took Snows’ tally of Peugeot dealerships up to six.