|Defunct||30 April 2015|
|Headquarters||Rochdale, United Kingdom|
Carcraft was an independent group of used car hypermarkets established in 1951 in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, with eleven locations around the country. Stocking cars from Alfa Romeo to Volvo. Carcraft was established by Frank McKee, and was bought out in July 1998 by his sons Noel and Darren McKee. This was in a £50 million deal, backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland's Development Capital arm.
Carcraft was established in 1951, by Frank McKee in Rochdale. In July 1998, his sons Noel and Darren McKee bought the business from him in a deal backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Development Capital arm, valuing it at £50 million. In April 2000, Carcraft acquired a car supermarket located in Newport from Car Group for £10 million, whilst Car Group was in receivership.
In December 2005, Carcraft became the first independent second hand vehicle retailer to create and found a contract hire car company. Named ‘All in One leasing’, the business provided services to companies who have small to medium fleets of cars, with Carcraft leasing them new vehicles, then replacing them and selling the used vehicles at its used car supermarkets throughout the country. In October 2006, Carcraft acquired another four sites from Carland, which were located in Chertsey, Enfield, Lakeside, and Stockport.
In April 2014, a management buyout was led by current Chief Executive Robin Bridge, and was backed by Apollo Ventures, for an undisclosed sum. On 30 April 2015, the company was placed into administration, suffering substantial losses and failing to keep up with rival marketing (marketing spend was £100k a week with a return of average sales of two hundred cars a week). Staff were told by the administrators the very same day leaving over five hundred people, with no redundancy pay or notice.
Awards and Recognition
In April 2011, Carcraft received recognition from Experian, for achieving the number one most visited website for the UK Automotive and Dealership category, earning it an Experian Hitwise Top 10 Award. It also received a Quality Driven Award, for exceptional customer service, awarded by Steve Hodgkinson from Easi Drive.
Carcraft had eleven showrooms located across the United Kingdom. There were centres in the following areas:
- Knowsley (Merseyside)
- Manchester (Trafford Centre)
- "Carcraft set for £200m sale". The Telegraph. 2000. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- "CARCRAFT SEEKS SECOND SUPERMARKET". www.motortrader.com. 6 July 1998. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "Carcraft buys Sheffield centre". GForces.
- "Carcraft set for £200m sale". telegraph.co.uk.
- "Business Briefing". Manchester Evening News. 2005.
- "Carcraft Expands". Auto Express. 2006.
- http://www.manchesteadministratorro.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/carcraft-closes-rochdale-jobs-live-9154882[permanent dead link]
- "Carcraft brand is resurrected online". Car Dealer Magazine. 2015-12-14. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
- Milligan, Brian (15 September 2016). "Finance firm fined for sending 65,000 spam texts". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Internet search accolade for Carcraft". Click-Manchester. 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2011-04-18.