HENDY celebrated being Ford’s first UK dealer with a special event at Goodwood House on Tuesday.
Almost 100 years to the day that Percy Hendy signed the deal wih Ford Motor Company, the Hendy Group put on a special VIP lunch to celebrate the group becoming Ford’s first dealer a century ago – and Car Dealer was there to enjoy the party!
The event at Goodwood House saw chairman of Hendy Group, Brian Hendy, and his family celebrate with special guests including Ford of Britain MD Nigel Sharp.
Brian Hendy said: ‘We are honoured that so many people want to share our centenary celebrations with us and delighted to mark this achievement in such prestigious surroundings.
‘One hundred years ago Henry Ford arrived in Southampton after a transatlantic voyage to launch the Ford Motor Company in the UK, and a meeting with Percy Hendy was the start of Hendy Ford.’
Ford of Britain’s managing director Nigel Sharp added: ‘Hendy has reached this landmark with great teamwork and by working closely with Ford – it comes naturally to Hendy. Hendy relies on us to bring to market a stream of great products, and we rely on Hendy to look after our customers.
‘It is a tribute to Hendy and fitting for the Ford connection, that the first UK dealer to be signed up to sell Ford vehicles is continuing in the same business stronger than ever, still run by family members.’
Hendy Group employs in the region of 700 people at 21 dealerships and turns over £250m. During its 100 years with Ford, Hendy has sold more than 400,000 cars and has carried out more than 3 million services.
Brian Hendy added: ‘I would describe the current situation in the industry as foggy. Customers don’t like dealers – no one likes us, but they have to put up with us. As an industry we are under threat from everyone including the government and the rise of the car supermarket.
‘But in the end, the public will look for good service by the right people. Hendy has been serving customers for 100 years, and we are ideally placed to offer good service to our customers.’
Words by JAMES BATCHELOR
Pictures by INNES MARLOW