| 2.2°C Belfast

Car dealer Charles Hurst appoints Jeff McCartney as new boss


Jeff McCartney

Jeff McCartney

Jeff McCartney

NI car retailer Charles Hurst Group has appointed Jeff McCartney as its new group operations director.

Mr McCartney, who has worked for Charles Hurst since 1988, will now head up the company, which employs 900 people across eight sites.

He takes over at a difficult time for the trade, with dealerships shut for much of last year due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

The new boss started working in the company's tyre division three decades ago. He then worked across vehicle brands and the company's Usedirect/Used car sites.

He also held a number of senior posts, most recently as sales operations director.

He has been carrying out his new role on an interim basis from late last year, taking over from Colin McNab.

Mr McNab retired in November, after more than 50 years at the business.

Mr McCartney said: "The motoring industry is embarking on a period of profound change, challenge and opportunity. Charles Hurst has been at the forefront of the motoring industry in Northern Ireland for more than a century, and as we look forward to the opportunities that innovation and change will bring in areas such as digitisation and electrification, our focus will be on continuing to provide an excellent customer experience to ensure a great customer outcome.

"It is a huge privilege to be afforded the opportunity to lead the company of which I have been an integral part for over thirty years. I am looking forward to both the challenges and opportunities we will inevitably face."

Duncan McPheee,chief operating officer of parent company Lookers plc, said: "Jeff is the perfect leader for the next phase of our journey. We're delighted to announce his appointment."

Charles Hurst was established in 1911. Its Belfast headquarters sits on a 30-acre retail site, making it the largest automotive park in Europe.

Lookers plc faced controversy last year with its accounts investigated due to potentially fraudulent transactions in one of its divisions.

The company subsequently warned investors of a £19m hit from the issues.

Car sales have fallen dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, with dealerships affected by the closure of non-essential retail.

Belfast Telegraph