Dougal Keith, who owns the business, is chairman of the east and north east region of Škoda Business Development. Ten years ago, his turnover was £3.7m; by 2006 it had grown to £20m.
“Škoda had some reservations about one dealer accounting for 1,400 sales a year, but then gave me the go-ahead,” he says.
“I understood the concern. It would affect a big proportion of Škoda’s sales, but I have no intention of allowing my business to fail.”
Keith’s most recent addition is an outlet at Huddersfield, owned by Lightcliffe, which has a Volkswagen franchise in Halifax. The Škoda dealership had been trading as insolvent, and Keith acquired the assets, adding it to his outlets for the brand at Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.
“Škoda has developed its own personality, and is no longer seen as a manufacturer making versions of Volkswagens,” says Keith.
In 2006, Škoda was 15.5% up in the UK with 32,839 registrations, which took 1.40% of the market.
Škoda’s objective is 58,000 sales in 2010, with a nine-car model range.