Martyn and Paul Carnell have returned to the motor industry with The Car People, a £4m used car supermarket in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
##Car People--right--Paul Carnell,
Jonathan Allbones## The brothers, who sold their Carnell Motors group for £12.4m to Dixon Motors in 1997, are planning a full-scale assault on the used car sector targeting six outlets within the next five years.
They are promising to shake-up the market by listening to customers, ensuring they find the best car for their needs. Managing director Martyn Carnell said: "We have conducted research that clearly shows too many customers visiting showrooms are still not being listened to - this remains a fundamental problem with the traditional car dealership set-up.
"Our intention is to listen to all our customers, to help them select the right product and at the right price with no hidden agenda."
Mr Carnell expects to sell around 5,000 cars from the six-acre site in the first year. He plans to open a second outlet by the end of next year, with four more opening by 2005.
Recent high-profile crashes by used car superstore groups, including Car Supermarkets, Maxcars and Motorworld, are put down to a "lack of understanding" about the market.
"We benefit from having more than 60 years within the used car industry and certainly don't intend to make the same mistakes," said Mr Carnell. "Stock turn and knowing what product to buy are paramount and will be key factors behind our future success."
The Car People will stock up to 600 nearly new and used cars up to five years old, segmented by category. Added value services, including warranties and product protection policies will be available, and the site includes a workshop, bodyshop and valeting bay.
Mr Carnell claims The Car People is designed to "break the mould of the traditional dealership set-up". The visitors' area includes help desk, café/bar and children's play zone.