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Picador Motor Company Ltd was formed in 1962 by founder Mr Lionel Jacobs. The business consisted of a small workshop, showroom and some very old petrol pumps. There were four employees, a salesman, a partsman, who was also the general handyman, an office clerk, a petrol pump attendant and Lionel in the workshop.
For the first two years, the company operated under the BMC franchise but in late 1964 it was changed to Vauxhall.
In the early 1970’s as the business continued to thrive, a new 12 bay combined workshop and body shop was built at the rear of the premises.
The early 1980’s saw the existing building transformed with a refurbishment of a new 5 car showroom, the latest Vauxhall corporate identity and a parts department.
During 1984 an additional workshop and compound were purchased in land behind the existing premises.
The acquisitions didn’t end there because in 1988 a 6,500 square feet factory was purchased at the rear of the premises and converted into a standalone Body Repair Centre.
The company continued to go from strength to strength and in 1989 it was decided to change the trading name to ‘Picador Plc’ - giving the company enhanced gravitas.
During 1992 the main building was refurbished to a modern 7-8 car showroom, new parts department and super modern petrol forecourt, officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire.
In 1999 the company purchased ‘Rowles Ltd’ in Chandlers Ford, previously trading as a family owned Rover dealer. As a satellite to the Head Office in Portsmouth Road, the site was immediately converted to Vauxhall, with the large petrol forecourt and service department all being refurbished.
2003 saw a standalone site previously trading as Stuart’s garage, purchased to become the third site for Picador. The existing building was immediately knocked down and redeveloped as Picador Vauxhall Winchester.
In 2007 Denkale Motor Co, a large site in central Southampton selling Chevrolet was acquired. However, when General Motors pulled away from the brand the site was disposed of in September 2011.
Petrol remained a part of the business at Sholing until 2008, until it needed to meet the increasing demands of a growing business and Vauxhall’s new CI requirement for a new 10-11 car showroom – this was completed in September 2015.
In 2012 Picador acquired the business known as Pats Garage in Lyndhurst. In the latter part of 2015 the dealership had a major re-fit to the new Vauxhall CI.
Most recently in November 2015, Picador Plc saw a major shift in the business with the introduction of new franchises to the company. A brand-new duel Renault and Dacia dealership was opened on existing land at the Sholing site.
Picador Plc has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings and is now a multi-franchised motor group led by CEO Graham Jacobs, son of founder, Lionel Jacobs, Managing Director Robert Oakeley and Financial Director Neal Cruse ACA BA Hons.
Lionel, our Chairman is still very much involved but is semi-retired, allowing him to continue his charity fund-raising work.
The business now has over 150 staff across four locations and five businesses and has a turnover in excess of £40million.