In 1929, fledgling entrepreneur Joseph Toomey saw a way to turn his interest in motorbikes into a business, setting up as a trader in Laindon, Essex. His son, Michael, still heads the group, which now operates three car dealerships selling marques including Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroën. The company is engaged in a range of other activities as well, including private hire, car rental and repair, construction and export services. Under chief executive Paul Plant, Toomey Group’s sales decreased slightly to £171.1m in 2010, but profits increased to £6.7m.
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