Lookers is an ever growing multi-franchise dealer group which represents 32 volume and premium car manufacturers throughout the UK and Ireland.
Founded in Manchester in 1908 by John Looker, initially the company sold bicycles, parts, accessories and the occasional used car.
In 1910 the business joined forces with a garage owner in Hardman Street in the centre of Manchester to create Lookers Ltd. Until the First World War Lookers Ltd was primarily a Ford dealer which thrived to such an extent that in 1911 the garage in Hardman Street had to be completely rebuilt to accommodate the business generated by the popular Ford cars.
The business was appointed a distributor of Austin motor vehicles in 1918 and continued to grow throughout Lancashire and Cheshire through the acquisition of a number of garages. Lookers and Austin became very closely associated such that the slogan 'Lookers is Austin' lasted for many years.
In 1929 John Looker retired. The business continued to prosper until WWII war started in 1939 when the Austin factory was committed to the war effort and there were hard times throughout the country.
Large dealers had originally operated as Distributorships, and as well as supplying cars to their own retail customers, they supplied cars to retail dealers in their designated area. The first major acquisition occurred in the 1960s when the Group moved into Yorkshire.
In 1973 the Group's headquarters were transferred from Hardman Street to Chester Road, where they remain to this day, and the Company became a listed Company on the London Stock Exchange.