The start of 2012 has seen Honda (UK) develop its retail network; both expanding with existing franchisees and recruiting several new franchise partners. These additions across the pan-brand business illustrate confidence in the Honda brand, with investment being made in the long-term future of its dealer networks.
Developments in the Car business include Gilder Honda completing the acquisition of the Chesterfield dealership, to operate alongside the Sheffield and Rotherham businesses bought in 2011. North Wales Honda now operates the Honda brand in Llandudno, whilst Norton Way Motors, who also own Chiswick Honda, have opened the doors on a brand new dealership in Wimbledon Park, previously an area without Honda car representation. Other investments within the car division include Harratts of Wakefield and Cloverleaf in Bracknell, both of which have recently moved to newly built state-of-the-art premises.
Three new franchises have opened in the motorcycle dealer network in recent months, and with a further three set to open in early summer, this is an indication of continuing strength of the motorcycle sector. Smiths Honda is now open for business in Chester, whilst Blade Motorcycles have begun trading in Swindon. In Plymouth GT Motorcycles has reopened at its established destination dealership on Elburton Road. These new additions to the motorcycle dealer network will further help Honda strengthen its number one position in the market.
The Power Equipment Division is experiencing continued growth as businesses look to expand with Honda in anticipation of peak season approaching for all four product areas. Russell Gas & Mower Centre has taken on the Lawn & Garden franchise in Edinburgh, while Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd has expanded representation to their premises in Albourne. Other openings in Lawn & Garden include Burnside Garden Machinery in Glasgow, and Balgownie Ltd in Inverurie. In addition to L&G, A.M.Phillip (Agritech) Ltd has taken on the Energy franchise for Fraserburgh.
Mark Weatherhead Ltd now holds the ATV franchise in Royston, likewise Wilsons of Rathkenny Ltd in Ballymena. Marine Division sees Motortech Marine Engineering gaining the franchise for Portsmouth, Rock Marine Services take the franchise in Wadebridge and a boat builder partnership has been established with Devon based Seaswift Boats, these changes greatly improve national coverage.
Nick Campolucci, Honda (UK)’s Head of Dealer Development commented: “The continued investment into Honda franchises, by a variety of existing and new partners illustrates that despite challenging economic conditions, businesses have the confidence to invest in Honda.
“With an all new Civic recently launched and new CR-V to follow later this year, 2012 sees two key models in our car product line-up refreshed. Similarly, Motorcycles has seen seven new 2012 models launched, with several more planned throughout the year. These new products, along with our commitment to dealer commercial training, will maintain Honda’s place as motorcycle market leader.
“Our Power Equipment division also continues to introduce new products to their 4 market areas. This when combined with a strategy to support dealers through stronger retail promotions, has been exceptionally well received by the dealer network and our customers.”