Sir Arnold Clark, the founder of the leasing company and dealer group that carried his name, has passed away aged 89.

Clark was confirmed as Britain’s first billionaire car dealer last year in the Sunday Times Rich List, and was knighted in 2004 by the Queen.

As of last year, the firm had more than 50,000 leased vehicles on its books, while the company has 200 dealerships in the UK.

In 2014 – the last set of financial results available – the firm posted profits of £107.2m on sales of £3.2bn.

The company said it was “saddened” to announce the passing of its founder and said he “passed away peacefully at home on 10 April surrounded by family”.

“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,” the firm added in a statement.