Mike Alsop, general manager, says: “We can do minor repairs in our workshop but we spend around £250,000 per year sending cars elsewhere for bigger jobs.”
Work has started on the centre, which will have at least one spraybooth. A decision will be taken soon about the amount of bodyshop equipment to be included.
Alsop says the investment is being made because the £20m turnover family company wants to increase the number of cars on its six-acre site by reducing preparation times.
The supermarket normally has 580 to 600 cars on display, with another 100 or so going through preparation. It expects to sell 3,000-3,500 cars this year.
Part-exchange cars made up the majority of stock, while Tony Wright, chairman and son of the late founder, and his son Paul buy other stock either from auctions or privately.
“They insist our cars are high quality, and we are also responding to the increasing demands on customers,” says Alsop.
“Our stock ranges from eight-year-old cars priced from £1,999 to low-mileage, nearly-new models.”