One of Kent and Sussex’s largest motor group is preparing to catapult itself into the top 100 UK dealership groups after launching a new SKODA and SEAT franchise in Snowhiill, Crawley Down.
The JCB Group is spreading its operation across the South East with the takeover of the franchise from the Crawley Down Group expanding its growing portfolio of Volkswagen Automotive Group (VAG) sites.
“I’m very much centred on developing a regional dealership group which is customer-focused and financially robust. Within the past two years we’ve grown our portfolio of franchises in Sussex, now covering Brighton, Crawley, Eastbourne and Worthing which has increased our influence and reach in the automotive world,” said Managing Director Jonathan Bischoff.
“Since JCB Group’s inception, we’ve proven that there’s a healthy market for good old fashioned service in supporting motorists, where people are looked after. Customers are also concentrating their purchases around vehicles which are reliable and offer value-for-money. With this in mind, our strategy of expansion is very much focused around VAG brands.
“This formula is definitely working and was cemented by the news that the JCB Group moved to 111th place in the AM 200 UK dealer listings, up 28 places from 2014. We were the second highest position mover nationally and reported the fifth largest increase in sales nationally.
Mr Bischoff set up the JCB Group 17 years ago, then aged 28, while he was working for another dealership. He wrote to Volkswagen, explaining that he only wanted to work for them and was desperate to be given the opportunity to run a dealership. To his delight (and surprise) Volkswagen replied, offering to be the guarantor behind this new business venture.
Fast forward 20 years, Jonathan’s team have sold in excess of 100,000 vehicles and the business has grown to include other marques including Volkswagen, Honda and Fiat, plus Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VW CV).
The ŠKODA and SEAT franchise in Crawley will now be part of a family run group which prides itself on being the UKs largest Commercial Vehicles dealer in Southern England, the South East’s number 1 Volkswagen dealer (according to VW One Business Awards for 2015) and which also supplies parts to the trade industry.
Mr Bischoff added: “We are utilising our extensive resources and expertise to ensure that there is a smooth transition for all involved. We are delighted to welcome the Crawley Down site to the JCB Group family.”
The independently owned JCB Group now employs over 300 staff throughout Kent and Sussex.