Helensburgh Toyota Dealership Sold to Employees

Long serving Scottish motor dealer, Helensburgh Toyota is set to start a “new journey” under staff ownership after being sold to a trust formed by its 34 employees.

February 12, 2024

The independent dealer that has held the Toyota franchise for over 45 years is recognised as one of the franchise’s top performers for customer care in the UK, regularly appearing in the Top 5 ranking of dealers, as well as winning two European Ichiban awards for customer service too.

The business was jointly owned by Gary Mulvaney and Ernie Cowan and they will remain in their current roles until March 2024 as part of the handover process of the £16 million turnover business – located at two sites in Helensburgh – to the newly-formed Helensburgh Automotive Employee Trust operation. The company recently completed a £500,000 refurbishment of its service workshop as it continues to invest in the future.

The business’s new leadership team will comprise an experienced team with Centre Principal Tim Roome, Kirsteen McGuire General Sales Manager, Used Vehicle Manager Gavin Wilson, Finance Manager Jane Victor, Scott Brown, Service Manager and Parts Manager Euan McIntosh.  

Managing Director Gary Mulvaney who joined the company in 1997 said: “It’s a very exciting time for the company with lots of opportunities ahead. Toyota has been a global leader in hybrid technology for over a quarter of century and is developing a range of electric and hydrogen vehicles to give our customers a genuine choice for the future. We are proud to continue to represent this trusted brand.

“People have always been at the heart of what we do, whether that is staff, customers or the community”

“This felt like a natural transition as the business will remain in the hands of those local staff who have made it what it is. Our customers value the service, the personal attention and the familiar trusted face when they walk in and that will remain.”

Director Ernie Cowan who joined in January 1978 said: “It’s been an honour to help this business grow and thrive, but the time is right for the next generation to take things forward.”  

Helensburgh Toyota is believed to be the first Scottish car dealership to make the move to implement an Employee Ownership Trust. The transaction was supported by employee ownership specialists Ownership Associates with legal advice provided by Bellwether Green.