Following the initial announcement in July, Gowan Group, the exclusive importer and distributor of Peugeot and Honda motor vehicles in the Republic of Ireland, has formally completed the acquisition of Opel Ireland, effective October 1, 2019. Gowan Group is now Opel’s wholesale import partner in Ireland with responsibility for all of Opel Ireland’s operations.
Gowan Group has also announced the appointment of James Brooks as Managing Director of Opel operations in Ireland. A qualified accountant and former Treasurer and President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, Mr Brooks is joining Opel Ireland from Kia Motors Ireland where he was Managing Director. He replaces Gillian Whittall who is leaving the Company following the successful completion of the acquisition.
“I am genuinely excited by this opportunity and look forward to getting on board with Opel Ireland and meeting all the people associated with the business,” said James Brooks. “The commitment made by Gowan Group in acquiring Opel Ireland represents a serious statement of intent. This is a great brand with an exciting product pipeline, a strong dealer network and customer base. We are ambitious to develop and significantly grow the brand in the months and years to come.”
He faces some tough challenges to turn around the fortunes of what was historically one of Ireland’s most popular brands. Opel has performed poorly here in recent years, to the extent that it is currently only the 11th best selling brand with just over 4% market share.