Ancaster Group's Penge Nissan showroom marks 50th anniversary with manufacturer, June 2022Ancaster Group's Penge Nissan showroom marks 50th anniversary with manufacturer, June 2022

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Ancaster Group celebrates golden partnership of 50 years as a Nissan dealer

  • Dealership chain marks milestone of working with manufacturer
  • Ancaster founder established dealer association for Nissan’s forebear and it continues today
  • Current MD tells of pride and delight at strength of association

Time 12:45 pm, July 26, 2022

Ancaster Group is celebrating 50 years of being a dealer for Nissan.

It began with a showroom in Penge in June 1972, when the manufacturer was known as Datsun, T-Rex was at number one with Metal Guru and Queen Elizabeth II had just notched up 20 years on the throne.

Ancaster – which opened its first site in 1949 – was one of the earliest Datsun dealers, and within eight years had become the largest Datsun outlet, with showrooms in Bromley, Caterham, South Croydon, Surbiton and Thornton Heath.


The Datsun dealerships were rebranded to Nissan in 1984, and the following year, under Nissan Motor GB, the Nissan Sunderland plant was opened.

Meanwhile, Ancaster founder Harold Cole set up the first Datsun Dealers’ Association, which today is the Nissan Dealer Association, while over the years the Datsun Bluebird, Cherry and Skyline have made way for the Qashqai, Juke, Micra and Leaf.

The group has continued to expand with the brand, opening its seventh Nissan dealership near Heathrow last year.

Stephen Wood, managing director at Ancaster, said: ‘This is a very proud moment for Ancaster and we are delighted that both Nissan and Ancaster have grown so successfully together over the years.


‘This relationship, which was started by Harold Cole in 1972 and then continued by his son Robert, has ensured Ancaster are synonymous with Nissan.

‘Now, as the current managing director, I am confident that this partnership, which now covers London, Berkshire and Surrey, will flourish in the years to come.’

Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan Motor GB, said: ‘We truly value our relationship with dealer partners such as Ancaster and we congratulate the company on its 50-year association with Nissan.

Ancaster Group Datsun garage in Caterham

Ancaster’s Datsun showroom in Caterham circa 1980 when petrol prices were displayed per gallon – making these to be roughly 29p per litre…

‘‘I was delighted to join the Ancaster team in west London earlier this year to celebrate the opening of their seventh Nissan dealership.

‘The fact that they are expanding with us and investing in our brand is great news for us both.

‘And with the launch of the all-new Ariya, Qashqai e-Power and Juke Hybrid, plus more new models arriving later in the year, there’s certainly plenty to be positive about!

‘I send my very best wishes to everyone at our Ancaster dealerships and I look forward to many more years of co-operation and success.’

Ancaster Group’s Penge Nissan showroom staff are pictured at top marking their 50th anniversary with the manufacturer

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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