• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

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Motor dealer heads in a new direction

A FAMILY motor dealer is moving in a new direction as it adapts to global changes in the industry.

Now called Tees Valley Motors, the Darlington dealership has taken on two fresh brands – Isuzu and Subaru – and is considering a third after Mitsubishi’s decision to withdraw from the UK.

Managing director Neal Gibson, of Middlesbrough, said the workshop would continue to look after its loyal base of customers for servicing and repairs who had bought Mitsubishies from the firm over the past 17 years.

Middlesbrough-born Neal has worked in the automotive trade since he was 18 after taking up a job opportunity with a family friend. He opened Tees Valley Mitsubishi in 2004 and now employs 20 sales, workshop and administrative staff at the site on McMullen Road, which trades in new and used vehicles.

“We are really excited about the prospect of entering a new era of our business with Subaru and Isuzu,” he said.

“We will carry on supporting our existing customers with aftersales care, warranty work and as an approved repairer. But I feel Subaru and Isuzu are a very good fit for our customer profile.”

He said almost a third of his Mitsubishi sales were accounted for by the L200 pick-up while many others were SUVs. The new Isuzu D-Max pick-up, which is just being launched, would be an exciting alternative for customers needing that type of vehicle and Subaru offered an exciting range of SUVs which were well made and designed.

“The second hand car market is also extremely buoyant and it is a big part of our business. We are expecting a brand new Subaru Outback soon and a face-lifted XV to boost the range, which already features the e-Boxer hybrid variants. A full electric is also on the cards next year.

“All my staff have been with me a long time and are very excited to be able to concentrate their efforts on new franchises. We have many loyal customers who have been with us since the beginning and the same friendly faces will be here to sort out their every need.”