BUY-OUT SAVES RETAILER FROM CLOSING DOWN

Mike Crouch of AutoSleeper Group
Mike Crouch of AutoSleeper Group
0
Have your say

A struggling Sheffield motorhome retailer was saved from closure after being snapped up by the UK’s biggest dealer.

Marquis Motorhomes and Caravans bought the 13-acre site in Dinnington, and 50 vehicles, from South Yorkshire Motorhomes and Caravans in a move which has saved 16 jobs.

Lee Morley, new general manager of Marquis South Yorkshire, said: “I don’t want to say we were coming in on a charging white horse - but we have.

“South Yorkshire was heading for liquidation when the opportunity arose to buy it.”

The new owners plan to invest in “the site, stock and staff” to reverse its fortunes.

The aim was to replicate the turnaround success of their Durham site, bought 18 months ago in similar circumstances and now a “flagship dealership”, he added.

Dinnington sells motorhomes for between £20,000, used, and up to £75,000 new, while a top spec caravan is about £30,000.

It is now part of the Worcester-based Auto-Sleeper Group which includes the Auto-Sleeper manufacturing arm and Marquis Motorhomes which has 11 branches in the UK. The group employs 400 people, turnover is £90m-a-year.

Mike Crouch, Auto-Sleeper Group managing director, said they had expanded despite eight or nine years of a flat market due to customer service, a network of dealers and workshops and an industry-leading three-year warranty on used motorhomes.

They had also struck deals with manufacturers, including Swift and Elddis, to sell vehicles and caravans with extra features.

He added: “Marquis South Yorkshire has the perfect platform on which to launch an immediate impact in the area.

“It follows a record increase in our market share of new motorhome registrations during 2013 despite difficult trading conditions. The expectation for growth in 2014 remains positive even in a flat market.

“Customers can now benefit further with the knowledge that they can buy, collect and have their leisure vehicle serviced at any of the 11 Marquis branches.”