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Harris Group, a leading automotive distributor and retailer, has announced a transformative restructuring programme and the appointment of a new senior leadership team as it positions itself for a new era of growth under the leadership of Chairperson and CEO, Denise Harris.

New leadership team announced

The new senior management team brings together some of the most experienced professionals in the motoring industry who will support Denise Harris in taking the business forward:

Brian Patterson assumes the role of Group Managing Director, tasked with shaping and executing the group’s strategic vision while driving ambitious growth targets.

Barry McGrane joins Harris Group Chief Financial Officer. Bringing with him a wealth of experience, Barry will play a pivotal role in overseeing the company’s finance and IT functions.

Mark Barrett steps into the role of Managing Director of Group Franchises, entrusted with nurturing the growth of the group’s franchise brands, overseeing sales, dealer development, and marketing efforts across the UK, Ireland, and right-hand drive Europe, where Harris holds the distribution rights for the MAXUS brand.

John Keogh is appointed Managing Director of Retail Operations and is responsible for the ongoing digital transformation of the business positioning it as a best-in-class digitally-lead automotive retailer. He will lead the retail sales and fulfilment teams across vans, bus and coach, parts OEM and aftermarket (CAS division).

Denise Harris also confirmed that Nigel Birkmyre has joined the Harris Group board. Widely recognised as a trusted leader and advisor to the automotive industry, Nigel will provide counsel and support to the new management team.

Speaking of the appointments and restructuring, Denise Harris said: “It’s an exciting time for Harris Group as we enter this new phase of growth. Together with the new management team, I have undertaken a full review of our operation to ensure we have the optimal structure, the best people, and the most advanced processes to future proof the business and to be a progressive industry leader. The company has been operating for more than 60 years and is gearing up for the next 60, and beyond.”

Harris Group stands as a trailblazer in shaping the future of motoring in the UK and Ireland, boasting marquee brands such as MAXUS and Higer Bus & Coach. Although headquartered in Ireland, Harris has a strong presence in the UK market, which includes a large warehouse and training centre located in Liverpool. Managed and directed from the team in Dublin, Harris Group is poised to lead the charge in embracing cutting-edge technologies and sustainable mobility solutions.

Growing dealership network

Bolstered by a network of over 120 independent dealerships across all its brands and territories, Harris Group aims to grow its dealership network by 15% in 2024.

Speaking about the dealership network, Denise Harris said: “As we embark on our journey of expansion, we’re thrilled to announce our plans to grow our dealer franchises under the Harris Group umbrella. Our dealership network serves as the cornerstone of our commitment to delivering exceptional service and support to our valued customers. By expanding our network, we’re not just widening our reach, but also deepening our dedication to providing unparalleled experiences in the automotive industry.”

2023 Growth & 12-month Forecasts

In line with its commitment to growth, Harris Group has reported significant sales expansion in 2023 and anticipates further growth in 2024. The MAXUS range of light commercial vehicles witnessed a remarkable 46% surge in sales in 2023, with projections indicating an impressive growth trajectory of around 60% in 2024, buoyed by the introduction of new vehicles.

Furthermore, Harris Group is gearing up for significant expansion in the bus and coach segment, with plans for a UK launch of its Higer brand, slated for the latter half of 2024.

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