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Trade Sales to push into prestige sector

Trade Sales, one of the UK's largest car supermarkets, is looking to move to larger premises and grow it prestige car sales following a dramatic upturn in business driven by internet sales.

The company says it may have to move from its current site in Heathrow after sales increased from 350 to almost 600 vehicles a week in just over a year.

European-sourced family, lower medium and medium sector cars account for the bulk of Trade Sales' business, but demand for more upmarket models is said to be rocketing. In the last year it increased the numbers of Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars sold by 50 per cent to about 150 vehicles a week - a quarter of its total car turnover.

Trade Sales' website, which enables users to specify the make and model of their choice from its current stock lists, attracts up to 10,000 user sessions a day as well as more than 200 email enquiries. To cope with the increased demand in imported vehicles, the operation has already acquired the site of a now-defunct Peugeot dealership and a former hotel and pub.

“We're looking to expand in the near future and we may move to a bigger site, which could be anything up to 30 acres. But we will only move if the location is right,” says Paul Wilkins, Trade Sales' marketing manager. He believes more car supermarkets will spring up following the changes to block exemption.

“As the motoring industry moves more and more towards dealerships offering many makes of vehicle, we may see a lot more small supermarket-type dealers appearing later this year,” he says. “Trade Sales took the initiative many years ago to offer a choice of every make and model of new car to the British public, way before any other dealer conceived it possible, by simply importing cars from the Continent on a mass scale.”

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