Owner Roy West made the decision to take on the franchise around the same time he leased the Sprowston Road site.
“The proposition had been on the cards for some time and with the closure of Coredale and the acquisition of the larger and more suitable garage, the timing was perfect,” says West.
The showroom is situated on a site that formerly housed a Jaguar outlet. It is currently on lease from John Hewitt, the original owner of the Norwich Motor Group.
West moved his office to the Proton showroom from his specialist Toyota used car and service outlet at Leopold Road. Previously he ran a Toyota sales franchise at Rouen Road, which became the largest in the UK under his leadership.
In its first month of operation the dealership has sold six new Protons. “This is pretty good,” says West. “We’ve only officially been the brand’s franchise since last weekend .”
Ian Perks, who has been with Roy’s Motor Company since 1987, is the sales manager at the franchise and the team is led by Graham Mitchell.
West says: “Unfortunately we were not able to hire any ex-Coredale staff. They had all been made redundant and presumably found new jobs before we were appointed as the new Proton representatives.”
West aims to capitalize on the interest generated by the new models Proton will manufacture at its recently-built factory in Malaysia.
“We aim to sell about 100 Protons every year. Our turnover already stands at more than £1m, but if we reach our target sales this should increase to more than £2m,” he says.
“Originally I intended to retire after selling the big Toyota garage. But I still enjoy coming in and I still do six days a week. I work mainly in sales and doing office jobs – no more hard labour for me!” says the 66-year-old West.