VERTU Motors, the car dealer that trades under the Macklin brand throughout Scotland, has revealed plans to invest £6 million to build a flagship Nissan dealership in Glasgow city centre.

Chief executive Robert Forrester said the showroom will be built on the site of publisher DC Thomson’s former print works, close to the M8 motorway.

The current building is being demolished, with Mr Forrester signalling that he hopes the new dealership will be ready within the next year. Vertu expects to employ 50 staff at the new dealership.

The company, which has 119 dealerships around the UK, took over the Nissan franchise in Glasgow on Wednesday, April 1. It currently operates from two temporary buildings in the north of the city.

Vertu disclosed the plans as Mr Forrester declared the company would not shy away from acquiring further Volkswagen and Audi dealerships – despite the emissions scandal at the German car giant.

Speaking as Vertu posted record interim profits of £16.4 million, up 28.1 per cent on the same period last year, Mr Forrester said: “We will be investing in the next 12 months in a flagship site in Glasgow, on the site of the old DC Thomson printing works.

“We are currently in the process of demolishing the printing works, and we will be building a dealership right next to the M8 in the centre of Glasgow.

“It is a big investment for the group, and we will create quite a lot of jobs in the centre.”

Mr Forrester noted that Vertu had acquired a company based near Glasgow Airport called the Taxi Centre, a major supplier of cars for the private hire market, which he said was contributing well to the group.

And he signalled that the company, which operates 10 Macklin Motors dealerships around Scotland, continues to have a “good pipeline” of acquisition opportunities, having also recently added Jaguar, Audi and Land Rover dealerships to its portfolio south of the Border.

Mr Forrester declared Vertu would not hesitate to add further Volkswagen dealerships to its estate, stating that the company has “not seen a significant decline” in sales since the emissions scandal erupted. He revealed that Vertu has acquired two Volkswagen dealerships and one Audi operation since the controversy broke.

Vertu noted in its accounts that its after-sales business should benefit in the short-term from the product recall that Volkswagen has announced.

Mr Forrester said: “We have not got massive exposure – to be honest we are under-weight [in Volkswagen cars]. If I was offered more Volkswagen and Audi dealerships yes I would [take them].

“I think those cars are still going to be wanted in the UK and they are fantastic manufacturers of aspirational cars.”

Mr Forrester conceded the Volkswagen brand has been damaged by the scandal but believes it continues to hold significant “equity”.

Meanwhile, Mr Forrester noted that high employment levels have been good for car sales in the UK, and that the strength of pound versus the euro “means manufacturers absolutely feel the UK is the place where they can see growth.”

Vertu, which reported a 14 per cent rise in interim revenues to £1.24 billion, anticipates full-year results will be ahead of expectations.

It declared an interim dividend of 0.45p per share, up 28.6 per cent on last year.