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Cathedral opens dual franchise at Leamington

Cathedral Motor is marking record half-year trading by adding another link to its dealership chain across the West Midlands.

The business, founded in 2000 by former Evans Halshaw chairman Anthony Archer, has grown annual turnover from £10 million to £50 million.

“I can’t reveal the figure, but we have just completed our best-ever six months of trading,” said director Angus Wiseman.

“Given that the gloomy economic situation is giving many other dealers a hard time, we’re delighted with this achievement.”

Trading as Arbury, Cathedral represents Peugeot in Nuneaton, Lichfield, Leamington Spa and Walsall. It sells Citroën and Suzuki at a second Nuneaton site and is now about to open another Citroën and Suzuki outlet at Leamington.

This will be based at the town’s former Murley Citroën site, which closed in June.

Annual new car sales are predicted to be 750 units and the dealership is expected to create 25 jobs.

“We take over on August 15 but a refurbishment programme means the business won’t be operational until September. The plan is for it to mirror our Arbury site in Nuneaton and provide us with facilities for both the north and south of Coventry,” said Wiseman.

“We see the addition of brands as an essential part of our expansion. In each case, this complements the existing business and widens our net by offering additional choice with attractive niche products. We’re always seeking fresh opportunities and our move into the former Citroën dealership makes sense because it has left a lot of existing customers.”

Wiseman believes that Cathedral’s success comes from operating a policy that concentrates on people, product and staff.

“The idea is not just to do a deal for the day – the key is making the showroom transaction the start of a relationship that goes forward.

“We like everything to gel and think a happy atmosphere is significant because it impacts on customers. It’s also important that we don’t operate massive sites, there’s no red tape and we don’t have a head office.

“Because each site is run entirely by a director, customers are able to make direct contact with the person in charge,” he added.

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