Mitsubishi Motors’ Cirencester HQ goes up for sale with £12 million price tag

Mitsubishi Motors Cirencester

Following the shock news in July that Mitsubishi Motors is pulling out of the UK and European new car markets, The Colt Car Company Limited, which has imported and distributed the Japanese marque since 1974, has put its prominent Cirencester headquarters on the market.

The site has been brought to the market by Rob Russell, of Russell Property Consultants in Bristol. It comprises a circa 100,000 warehouse facility alongside offices, showroom, training school – even a 24-bedroom hotel.

The site is on the market for £12 million, according to Rob.

He said: “This unique opportunity is set within a six-acre secure self-contained and landscaped site with a gatehouse at the entrance.

“It is quite a bespoke facility which could be perfect for a business looking for that. It’s very well maintained with quite a high office content.”

Mitsubishi cars have been imported into the UK by the Cirencester-based Colt Car Company since 1974. The company turns over more than £500 million annually and employs around 350 people.

Mitsubishi Motors, a junior member of the auto alliance of Nissan Motor and Renault SA, said that it had no choice but to reduce its fixed costs by 20 per cent and focus on investment in core markets where it sees potential.

Globally the company sold just 139,000 vehicles in the April-June quarter, down more than 50 per cent from last year.

The Colt Car Company was set up in 1974, formed as a joint venture company owned 51 per cent by a consortium (Colt Automotive Ltd), and 49 per cent by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The managing director, and latterly chairman and chief executive was Michael Orr, who had worked for  Alfa Romeo and then BMW as National Sales Manager. While on a fact-finding trip to Japan he was asked to take on the Import of Mitsubishi Cars.

For the first decade British market Mitsubishi were sold under the “Colt” marque until the rebranding to Mitsubishi, which then brought the marque in line with the rest of the world. It remained a 51/49 joint venture between Colt Automotive Ltd and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation until 2008. Since then it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of MC Automobile (Europe) NV (MCAE).