WORKING with friends and family is often a scenario that doesn’t work out too well. But for Tom Hartley Jnr, that was never a problem. And although he has now decided to go it alone and found his own company after 20 years spent working for the family business, there’s no hint of a disagreement.
It’s a decision he says is based solely on his passion and drive for classic and prestige cars.
Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer just days after the news was announced, he said: ‘It has been a privilege working alongside my father and brother for so long and the decision to branch out on my own to develop a new business has not been easy. Professionally speaking, this is the most amicable separation you can imagine but the time is now right for me to put my considerable experience, reputation and energy into a new venture that I can develop in a very personal way. I’m looking forward to the incredibly exciting times ahead.’
Perhaps surprisingly too, there will be no rivalry in future from his father, Tom Hartley Snr, and brother, Carl. Tom Hartley Jnr’s new venture will focus on classic and very prestige vehicles, which should mean no conflict of interest between the two businesses.
They say you learn the most in your younger years, and Tom was thrown head-first into the deep end of the car market at the age of 11. As with many automotive people, his upbringing played a rather large part in how his life turned out – his father is well-known for his strong work ethic and instilled this in Tom at a very young age. This passion and drive saw him become a fully-fledged partner of the family business at the tender age of 16.
From then on, his dedication to the family business and the effective way he combined the grown-up world of work while still pursuing his school career, showed a real determination to succeed.
Tom said: ‘I have worked very hard to be where I am today, but I always feel very privileged to have such a loyal client base.’
In contrast to some other specialist dealers, Tom Hartley Jnr. will purchase stock first, then look to find buyers. ‘We have quite a lot of stock, which is all physically owned and bought by us, that will be going live on the website on June 18,’ he said. ‘If it is shown to have been good enough for us to buy, then we hope that will make the end user more comfortable to invest.’
Naturally though, clients will still be able to make requests if the required car isn’t in stock. The new website is tailored so that it fits to every screen and device, and is designed for ease of use, to make it simple for customers to shop for the car they want.
‘To have a client come to you and then come back is the biggest compliment anyone could have’
Targeting both national and international markets, the business, which will be based in Derbyshire, will focus on luxury, prestige and classic motors. However, the company will be prepared to diversify. If a customer requests something specific, and perhaps a little different, Tom will go out of his way to help.
His clients trust him implicitly and over the years, he has provided them with wide range of fabulous vehicles.
Tom’s love of cars doesn’t stop at work, though. He has a fantastic collection of his own, including a Lamborghini Miura, Porsche 911 2.7 RS and a Ferrari Daytona, to name but a few.
And would you believe that his daily motor, the car he drives from A to B, is a bog-standard Volkswagen Golf?
Tom’s aim, with this new business venture, is to help existing and prospective clients avoid making any costly mistakes when parting with their money.
The purchase of used cars in general can be a daunting task – whether it be not being aware of the car’s history, or perhaps simply not knowing much about a particular model. The service that Tom provides is a hassle-free way of getting a dream car, and his knowledge and dedication to his clients ensures a smooth purchase without any potential pitfalls.
Tom understands that people buy from people, and when people do business at Tom Hartley Jnr. they become a friend. He says: ‘A level of trust is required when buying a car.
‘We sell cars that are up to 40-odd million dollars. When someone is spending that kind of money, they need to know that, one, they know what they’re doing and, two, that the company they’re dealing with is not going anywhere.
‘To have a client come to you and to come back to you is the biggest compliment anyone could have.’
By Danielle Bagnall