From the edge of disaster to the road to success – a struggling Sheffield motorhome company has done a U-turn after being snapped up by the UK’s biggest dealer.
Marquis Motorhomes and Caravans bought South Yorkshire Motorhomes and Caravans, based on a 13-acre site in Dinnington, plus 50 vehicles, in a move which saved 16 jobs.
The new owners have invested in “the site, stock and staff” in a move which has reversed its fortunes.
It was officially opened by The Mayor of Rotherham Coun John Foden and his wife Mayoress Kath Foden.
He said: “Congratulations to Marquis on their decision to come to Rotherham, it is good for their customers and the local community with regards to much needed job prospects. The Mayoress and myself wish them every success in their venture.”
Since acquiring the South Yorkshire site in January 2014, the staff, under the guidance of Marquis Lancashire general manager Lee Morley, have worked to establish it as one of the busiest in the network.
John Ivell is the new sales manager and further investment is planned.
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.
Alan Buckwell, sales director of the Marquis Group said: “We are delighted Marquis are now represented in South Yorkshire.
“The attitude of the staff and their enthusiasm to work for the UK’s largest dealer network has made the new acquisition run smoothly.
“They have worked hard to support our major investment and regenerated a fantastic site that represents the future for Marquis in terms of retailing, servicing, storage and aftercare.”
The aim was to replicate the turnaround of the Durham site, bought 18 months ago and now a “flagship dealership”, he added.