A family-owned North East car dealership group has completed a £750,000 investment in its future growth as it celebrates its 95th birthday.
Wingrove Motor Company operates the official North East franchises for global brands Citroën, Peugeot and DS, and employs around 90 people across its Silverlink, Newcastle West Road, Cramlington and Ashington dealerships and service centres.
It was founded on 10 August 1925 by Newcastle cattle auctioneer John Myers Dalkin Snr and has been run by successive generations of the family ever since.
Current managing director Josh Parker is part of the fifth generation to be involved, while his mum Louise Parker, dad Ian Parker and grandad Peter Dalkin, who joined the firm back in 1962, are all still part of the business.
A refurbishment of its Silverlink dealership has been completed just in time for the anniversary, with improvements including the addition of the Peugeot franchise to the site as well as a new service reception, new waiting areas, new furniture and the installation of ten new electric charging points.
Wingrove is the largest family-owned and operated motor company in the North East and has run a wide range of motor franchises right across the region during its 95 years.
Around 150 apprentices have begun their careers with the dealership so far, with several of them going on to take up senior positions with the business, while it has also backed a wide range of community projects over the years, including supporting the set-up of the Jesmond Dene Parkrun and investing in the soon to be refurbed Gallagher Park BMX track in Bedlington, in partnership with Barnesbury BMX Club.
In April this year, Wingrove gave over its main distribution centre and warehouse facility on the Nelson Industrial Estate in Cramlington to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for use as a new PPE manufacturing facility, a project which is still ongoing.
Managing director Josh Parker says: “Our anniversary celebrations are rather lower key than we’d originally planned, but while this year has clearly been challenging for everyone, the business remains in good shape and we’re confident of continuing to grow in the years leading up to our 100th anniversary.
“The enduring quality of our staff and the service they provide has always been the key to our success, and as well as having five generations of the family involved with the business, we also have local families that have been customers for just as long.
“Our industry has gone through incredible change during our lifetime, and most especially over the last few years. We began to offer electric vehicles very soon after they became available, have over a dozen different electric/plug in hybrid vehicles on display and are ready to capitalise on further growth in this area of the market.
“The Silverlink dealership refurbishment looks really impressive, and we’re excited by the potential that it and our recently-refurbished West Road site have to help us deliver on our growth plans.
“Contributing to the well-being of our communities has long been part of our make-up and we’ve got lots of plans in place to do even more in the future.
“Supporting the NHS over the last few months has been a particular honour for us and we’re very pleased to have been able to make a contribution to its incredible work during the pandemic.”