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Chorley Group cashes in on a weak pound

Lancashire-based Chorley Group is taking advantage
of the weak pound by tapping into the “Euro zone” in an attempt to fend off the recession.

Chorley, which has five dealerships representing Nissan and Fiat through-out the north west, has capitalised on the fact the pound is so low against the Euro (€1 = 94p).

Dave Hull, Chorley Group’s export director, set up Nissan Export as a subsidiary within Chorley in 1998 with Andrew Turner, Chorley’s managing director. Although it’s based at the group’s head office in Chorley, the business also has three dedicated new car sales locations in Germany.

Hull said: “The situation with the Euro is certainly helping us to bring in a new type of customer.

“Normally speaking, we tend to export vehicles to
expats who are leaving the UK to set up abroad, but right now the opposite is happening. The rest of Europe is looking to buy from the UK.”

Hull said the exchange rate was so good that mainland Europeans were now seeing the UK as a cheap place to buy cars and get great deals.

Nissan Export gets enquiries from Italy, Spain, France and Belgium. It has sold vehicles further afield, too, in Mauritius, Ghana, Tanzania and even Samoa.

Hull said: “I had been in the export business for 10 years, so I knew the market place and tax free procedures so it was fairly easy to set up.

The fact that Andrew had money to finance the business from the start helped, too.”

Hull didn’t want to reveal what kind of profits were being made from the export business.

“It’s a niche market with keen competition from other dealers and manufacturers looking for incremental business. We keep our heads above water, see a bit of the world and pay the bills.”

The business gets a lot of enquiries via email and the multitude of languages from the different countries with which Hull deals hasn’t been a problem.

He said: “You learn to understand broken English in every tongue and dialect imaginable and converse as plainly and as patiently as you can.

“We use a simple qualifying procedure and lead the customer through the obstacles and pitfalls to ensure they understand the rules and regulations both here and overseas prior
to purchasing.”

Nissan Export takes payment through from debit cards, BACS transfers and bankers drafts.

Hull said: “We then ship the cars in every way imaginable. We’ve driven them to airports, embassies, put them in containers and even RAF planes.”

Turner said that it wasn’t all doom and gloom and if dealers are prepared to go the extra mile “or even several thousand, there’s good business to be done”.

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