TrustFord has gained planning permission for a new dealership site in Guernsey which will allow the business to bring its Ford retail, aftersales and body shop businesses under one roof.
Stuart Foulds, the president and chief executive of the Ford of Britain-owned AM100 car retail group confirmed that planners on the island had given the green light to the development plans today (February 9).
News that work could get underway to develop the site, which also includes the island’s Hertz car rental business, will be a reassurance to customers and staff, he said.
“I think the knowledge that out lease on the current retail site was coming to an end might have generated a bit of uncertainty, but the plans really do emphasise the fact that TrustFord, and the Ford franchise, is on the island to stay,” Foulds told AM.
AM understands that the group employs around 50 members of staff on Guernsey, where its operations are currently split between a sales site at La Grange and aftersales facility at Longue Hougue.
All operations will be moved to Longue Hougue under the group’s new plan.
Work is expected to start around May, ahead of an opening later this year.
Foulds described progression of the plans, first submitted to the local authority back in October, as “transformative for us.”
In an interview with AM earlier this month, Foulds said that TrustFord had seen its car sales volumes decline by around 40% during COVID-19 ‘Lockdown 3’ trading in England and Northern Ireland, but revealed that home delivery boom is driving commercial vehicle records.
He said that the business was driving ahead with the lessons learned from trading in H1, 2020, and had been able to maintain strong aftersales performance while achieving better than predicted success with LCVs during January.
Foulds said that car sales were running “at about 60% of where we’d normally be”, but added: “From a commercial vehicle point-of-view we have been absolutely smashing it out of the park thanks to demand from people in the home delivery sector. Our order books are full.
“We’re well over 100% of where we’d expect to be, well ahead of last year and well ahead of our plan.”