Inchcape expands to Philippine market after acquiring 60% of CATS

When it comes to luxury and premium automobile brands, CATS Motors is practically a household name here. Felix Ang and CATS have built a reputation as the long-standing distributor of brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, RAM, Harley-Davidson Manila and more recently Jaguar and Land Rover.

That is all about to change.

The Philippines’ CATS Group of Companies and British multinational Inchcape are announcing that they have signed a deal that will change the way all the automobile brands of CATS are handled in our market.

In a press release, Inchcape stated that the two companies will “enter into a joint venture with CATS Group of Companies (“CATS”), the leading distributor of luxury vehicles in the Philippines, including the acquisition by Inchcape of a controlling stake in CATS”. The controlling stake that Inchcape has acquired is 60%.

“We are very pleased to be entering the Philippines, a country with a large and fast-growing economy, where CATS is the leading distributor of luxury vehicles,” said Russel Kinebas, Inchcape APAC CEO. “The Ang family has built long-standing successful relationships with its OEM brand partners and its customers. We are looking forward to building on their achievements and accelerating the company’s digitalization journey, driving the business to further success.”

The announcement means that Felix Ang and his family will take a more relaxed role in the luxury and premium automobile business that they have done so well in over the decades. The family and their associates will retain the remaining 40% shares and will continue to be represented on the CATS Board by Felix Ang as well as in the management team.

Inchcape is a British public limited company (PLC) that primarily engages in automobile distribution, retail, and service in various markets all around Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Some of the brands that Inchcape has worked with throughout the decades include Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Chevrolet, Subaru, Citroen, Volkswagen, Kia, Volvo, Geely, Isuzu, Ford, Hyundai, and many, many more.

“This acquisition is a significant milestone for Inchcape in APAC and an excellent example of our Accelerate strategy in action; extending our global distribution leadership by expanding our OEM brand footprint in markets where vehicle penetration is low but expected to grow quickly,” continued Kinebas. “The combination of Inchcape’s leading global position and digital and data capabilities means we are well placed to successfully execute our strategy to accelerate growth both organically and via industry consolidation.”

Inchcape says that they expect CATS to add about GBP 120 million (about PHP 8 billion) in annual revenue to the company. They also said that the transaction will be completed by about the second half of this year.