Wheeler Dealers TV star Mike Brewer has explained how selling used vans has been a recipe for success at his new dealership.
Speaking to the Car Dealer Podcast – which has been published on video today (above) as well as the usual audio channels – Brewer explains how he turned a storage unit for his car collection into a new used car dealership.
In partnership with a friend of his, and his ambitious wife Michelle, the trio set up One Automotive, based in Warwick.
Brewer already has a similar partnership for his Mike Brewer Motors dealership, which specialises in used cars, based in Sheffield.
Speaking to the Podcast, Brewer said: ‘I had this amazing space in Warwick, which was where I housed my car collection. I had turned it into my ultimate man’s cave. It was a bit excessive, I’ll be honest with you.
‘It looked incredible. And all the time I’m staring at this building, I’m thinking, why did I spend all this money on this? I’m a businessman at the end of the day, and thought why did I spend all this money and it’s not earning anything.
‘So, I set up with a good friend of mine, James. We found a huge gap in the market. We noticed that there were very few van centres in the area and commercial vehicle sales are going through the roof.’
Brewer explained how post-Covid he found many tradespeople were looking for new vehicles and wanted something a little different.
Brewer and his team set about smartening vans up with body kits and exhaust trims which made them stand out in online listings – and his customers loved them.
‘We wanted to capture a slightly different area of the market – the sort of tradespeople who want to promote their businesses with a different sort of van,’ he explained.
‘These people want a van to show off as well as enjoy it for their business. They want to promote their business through their vehicle.
‘So we set about slightly modifying the vans to give them that sort of urban look. And from there, it’s just taken off, we’ve sort of found this niche in the market.’
Brewer said he has had customers travel from all over the country to buy his vehicles.
Giving the Car Dealer team some advice for their AI Car Dealership project, Brewer said it’s good to find a niche.
He added: ‘You have to know what works in your area and you won’t know what works until you try it.
‘So you have to throw down an eclectic mix of vehicles and find out which ones are working. And if you’re selling five Fiestas a week, but one Corsa, then buy Fiestas as that’s where your market is.
‘The new business has been phenomenal, I’m not gonna lie. We run a tight ship. We’ve got very good social media and it looks great online.’
Brewer joined the Christmas special of our weekly Podcast where our hosts chose their favourite stories of the week from the Car Dealer website with our guest choosing who picked the best ones.
During the Podcast, Brewer gave his opinion on used car prices, electric vehicles and the Lookers saga that has seen many employees told they face losing their jobs following the firm falling into private hands.
He also reflected on 20 years of his hit TV show Wheeler Dealers.
He said: ‘We celebrated 20 years of Wheeler Dealers in 2023 – it’s a little show that I started to make in 2003 in October with its first airing. Now, 20 years later, we’re still going and we’re still making new series.
‘Throughout the year, we’ve had many a celebration, no matter where I’ve been on the planet, whether it was in America or Germany or Poland or in the UK, we’ve had many celebrations.
‘Just recognising what an achievement it is and what an impact it’s had on the motoring landscape.
‘The show has sparked a whole new genre of car restoration programmes and now there are networks dedicated to just that. They can all work their way back to this little show called Wheeler Dealers.’
You can watch the full recording of the Car Dealer Podcast Christmas special with Brewer in the video at the top of this page or find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or whichever Podcast platform you prefer.