Close Motor Company has added the Isuzu brand to its Peterborough showroom – and it’s got off to a flying start!
Director and dealer principal Simon Close told Car Dealer today (Mar 29) they would be working in partnership with Mitsubishi at the Newark Road site, which the company took over in 2016.
It had been an Isuzu dealership until 2016 and became a solus Mitsubishi operation under Close, with 15 employees, although the company had been operating with Mitsubishi at its sister Corby showroom since 2000.
‘We’ve been working with pick-ups for 21 years now, so it was a natural fit for us, to be honest, with the Mitsubishi L200 withdrawing from the market,’ said Close.
‘We’ve tried to minimise risk while expanding the business at the same time.
‘The team are very familiar with them. We sold three in three days since going live last Thursday (Mar 25), so it’s a very encouraging start.’
He added: ‘When you’re looking for new partners, it’s not just about the product, it’s about the people you’re going to work with as well and the opportunities, and Isuzu have been very supportive.
‘We’re going to be putting it alongside Mitsubishi, which we’ll be continuing with aftersales, and this will enhance what we’ve got there, which has been very successful.
‘It’s funny how things go full circle, because when I bought the site it was Isuzu at the time, so we are bringing it back into the city.’
There is space for one vehicle in the showroom and up to 10 outside, with full use of the seven-bay workshop as well.
‘Losing L200 towards the end of the year [with Mitsubishi withdrawing new model launches from Europe], we were going to need something that was its natural successor to carry on with our large pick-up database,’ said Close.
‘This is the latest pick-up truck to hit the market. It looks right, it feels right, it feels more of a premium product, so that naturally fits with our higher-end L200s that we sell.
‘It’s also attracting a slightly different demographic with the utility range.
‘It attracts more of the worker, owner-driver, manual worker, and we haven’t really had that in our range for a period of time, so we’re looking forward to seeing new customers as well.
‘Isuzu is an established and successful brand and is one that’s well recognised for its reliability, value and quality. The team are very excited about it.
‘We are committed to representing Isuzu to the highest of standards in the Peterborough area.’
The news comes on the heels of Suzuki joining Close Motor Company’s showroom in Corby, and Close said: ‘We are an ambitious company that wants natural, organic, sustainable growth with the right partners and the right products.
‘With Isuzu, Suzuki and Mitsubishi in our portfolio I think we’re well positioned for when lockdown ends to carry on and have a really successful future, especially in the short to medium term – that’s our plan.’
And he highlighted how, after selling vehicles online during the lockdown, the dealership was looking forward to welcoming customers back into the showroom, with full Covid-secure protocols in place for everybody.
‘A major part of retail is having people come in and touch and feel the new products, so we’re really expecting it to get busier.’
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