Connolly Motor Group buys Hyundai Galway in drive west

Family business Connolly Motor Group has acquired Hyundai Galway for an undisclosed sum as part of its expansion across the West of Ireland.

The acquisition of the Hyundai dealership in Ballybrit and the service centre in Oranmore will increase the number of full-time employees at Connolly Motor Group to 280 as the 31 staff currently working for Hyundai Galway will join the group.

The company said expects to grow staff numbers in Galway as it builds on its investment.

The motor group, which is one of the biggest in the country, is run by brothers Kevin and Neil Connolly. Connolly Motor Group operates multiple state-of-the-art car dealerships across Galway, Mayo and Sligo, selling more than 5,000 retail cars every year.

“We are delighted to welcome Connolly Motor Group to the Hyundai family,” said Stephen Gleeson, managing director of Hyundai Ireland. “Hyundai is Ireland’s fastest growing car brand over the last ten years and the fit between both companies in terms of expansion and ambition is very clear. We are sure that working together with the Connolly Motor Group we can provide an excellent service to the people of Galway and beyond.”

Building up speed

The Galway acquisition is the latest phase in an enduring legacy of growth for a family business that began when Thomas Connolly opened the first family car dealership in 1939 in Ballaina. His son, Kevin Connolly, worked in the garage until the 1960s when he went to New York and set up the Amoco gas and service station in the Bronx.

Returning to Ireland with his family in the mid-1980s, Kevin set up in business three doors down from his father’s original garage. In 1987, he was appointed the main dealer for Volkswagen and Audi for Mayo. His sons, Kevin and Neil, joined the business in the 1990s and have continued to grow the family business since.

In 2007, the brothers were appointed the main dealer for Volkswagen and Audi in Sligo and opened a state-of-the-art Audi Sligo ‘Terminal Building’ in 2011. A year later, Audi Galway opened in Ballybrit and, in 2017, a new Audi dealership was opened. In 2016, Connolly Motor Group opened a new Mercedes-Benz dealership in Collooney, Sligo and a year later, it opened a new Mercedes-Benz dealership in Galway as well as a new €5m state-of-the-art facility at the Audi Terminal Showrooms in Galway.

Earlier this year, Connolly Motor Group was appointed as the main dealer for SEAT in Sligo.

Connolly Motor Group is today one of the biggest motor groups in the country and operates multiple state-of-the-art car dealerships across Galway, Mayo and Sligo, selling more than 5,000 retail cars every year.

“I hope that with our new relationship with Hyundai, we can continue to build upon what is already a prominent and well-respected company within the motor industry,” said Kevin Connolly.

“This is another strategic acquisition for our business, further strengthening our offering to our customers in the west and creating economies of scale in a highly-competitive market.”

Pictured (above): Kevin and Neil Connolly, Connolly Motor Group.

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Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 2 September, 2019