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Watson of Airdrie Vauxhall | by HendryG1987
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Watson of Airdrie Vauxhall

On a ropey Omega in Tesco Silverburn car park.


Interesting history behind Watson's, started in Airdrie in 1938 and a Vauxhall dealer most of that time, the relocated to various sites in Airdrie and eventually settled at 24-48 High Street, they also at one time had Vauxhall dealerships in Coatbridge (where Magnet kitchens is now opposite Evans Halshaw Ford and next to Albion Rovers stadium) and at South Carbrain Road Cumbernauld which later changed hands then closed down and reopened as an Arnold Clark Nissan branch and still exists as an Arnold Clark Kia branch.


At some point in the late 80s/early 90s Watson's were taken over by Lex Service, who used to be known as SMT and ran various dealerships throughout Scotland. They decided to get out of motor retailing and gradually sold off their dealerships, my uncle bought an L reg Astra Merit from the Airdrie branch in 1996, soon after this Airdrie Vauxhall was sold to Pendragon who own Evans Halshaw, as they had no other dealerships in Scotland other than Derwent Mercedes in Bellshill at this time, they decided to change the name back to Watsons for familiarity reasons, only when they took over Reg Vardy in 2006 and decided to rename all their dealerships (they ran Premier of Edinburgh, Bramall Quicks, Bramall Laidlaw, Evans Halshaw, Sanderson Motor house, Reg Vardy, Evans Halshaw, Stratstone, Bushbury Land Rover, Rossleigh, Victoria BMW/Mini, Trust VW, Mercedes of Ayr/Hamilton/Glasgow/Giffnock to name a few after the takeover) with Evans Halshaw branding for all volume franchise sites and Stratstone for prestige/specialist franchise did Airdrie Vauxhall become Evans Halshaw, this was short lived as due to the Vardy takeover Pendragon now ran Vauxhall in Airdrie, East Kilbride and Motherwell I.e. 3 of the 4 Vauxhall dealerships in the whole of Lanarkshire, the other being Ross of Lanark, the competition commission ordered a review into it in the interest of fair choice for the customer and decided most customers in Lanarkshire if using their local Vauxhall dealers wouldn't have any option but to use a Pendragon site, and ordered them to sell or close some, they chose to keep East Kilbride and sold Motherwell to Peter Vardy who had now set up his own dealer group since his father Sir Peter had sold Reg Vardy, they were made an offer in late 2007 for the Airdrie site from Aldi to build a supermarket and it closed in late 2007, the end of a long era.

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Uploaded on October 18, 2014