Great Britain’s First Ever Billionaire Car Dealer Has Sadly Passed Away
Great Britain’s first ever billionaire car dealer, Sir Arnold Clark, has sadly passed away at the age of 89. Sir Arnold was the founder of the nation’s biggest independent group of car dealerships – Arnold Clark Automobiles – and contributed hugely the independent motor industry.
After leaving the Royal Air Force in 1950, Sir Arnold founded the business when he bought a Morris Ten-Four for just £70. He restored the car and sold it on for a profit, which set him off on a long and winding road of buying and selling cars that would lead to him being announced as Britain’s first billionaire car dealer in the Sunday Times Rich List in 2016.
He opened his first showroom in 1954, and there was no looking back from there.
An inspiration to many in the industry, Sir Arnold, whose first showroom was in Glasgow’s Park Road, had 200 dealerships across the UK at the time he died. With more than 18,000 new and used cars in stock, Arnold Clark Automobiles posted profits of £107.2m in 2014, on sales of £3.2bn.
Sir Arnold was knighted in 2004 in recognition of his services to the motor industry as well as his contribution to the Scottish community. He also won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Master Entrepreneur, as well as many other accolades including an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow, meaning he can add ‘Dr’ to his many titles.
A recently released statement said that he had passed away peacefully and was surrounded by his family. His family statement, quoted by the BBC, said: “Sir Arnold Clark passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and a great friend and employer to many.
“He was an inspiration and the family will continue to carry on his vision. He will be greatly missed.”
His company, Arnold Clark Automobiles, also released a statement paying tribute and expressing sadness at the news.
It said: “Sir Arnold was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and a great friend and employer to many. A truly inspirational business leader, Sir Arnold’s work ethic and strong family values will continue to inspire all those who work for the Group. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”