Blackpool educated businessman to step down from his motors empire

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A former Arnold school pupil who ended up building a car dealership empire has stepped down to focus on new ventures in the future.

Mark Robinson, who always had an interest in cars, worked in the motor trade for most of his life and became the general manager of a car dealership at the age of 24.

Mark Robinson who is to step down at Vantage

Mark Robinson who is to step down at Vantage

While working for Toyota he was given the chance to buy two dealerships in a company pilot scheme with just 12 others worldwide.

From there he grew his Vantage business into a 22 dealerships and six franchise empire.

In 2013 it celebrated its 10th anniversary, while in 2016 Vantage took over the Citroen dealership at Squires Gate, bringing his home town into Mark’s collection.

He said at the time: “I had a maths teacher who told me that I would never amount to anything.

“There is nothing better than a bit of negative comment to inspire you to work harder.

“My dream was to have my own business in the town and I realised that with Vantage Citroen. I always had a strong work ethic. I had a paper round and worked at the Pleasure Beach.

One of my first jobs, at the age of 13, was cleaning cars at Tudor Car Sales where the Talbot Gateway is now.”

Vantage Motor Group said Mark will be leaving at the end of the year as part of a planned handover to the existing management team.

Ownership of the Group will transfer to the rest of the Board, Phil White, chairman, Tim Swindin, finance director and Andrew Mallory, operations director, who will continue to manage and operate the business.

Mark said: “Vantage Motor Group has been a major part of my life for the past 16 years, I have worked with many talented individuals and teams developing friendships along the way with employees, business partners and customers.

“I feel that it is an ideal time for me to hand the group over to Phil, Tim and Andrew, so I can look towards new ventures in the future. I wish the Board and the outstanding team of people who work in the business much success in the future.”