Family-owned dealership group marks 70th anniversary

A Yorkshire-based family-owned car dealership group celebrated its 70th anniversary with a gathering of more than 2,000 staff and contacts and a look back at its history.

The JCT600 group used its annual conference to mark the significant date at Leeds Arena. The event, which was on the theme of overcoming challenges, heard from Falklands veteran Simon Weston as its guest speaker.

The group started with a single dealership in Bradford and now has 50 spreading from Lincolnshire in the south to Newcastle in the north. You may not have a business the size of the JCT600 group but if you are expanding, make sure you have the right level of motor trade insurance to cover your business.

JCT600 was started in 1946 by Jack Tordoff, who is the group’s current chairman. His first dealership was Brooklands Garage in Bradford. His son John is now the business’s chief executive and JCT600 is now the biggest privately-owned company in Yorkshire with an annual turnover of more than £1.1 billion.

John Tordoff told Car Dealer magazine: “Overcoming challenges is certainly an appropriate theme – it has not been an easy journey. To have survived so long in business is an achievement in itself.

“We attribute our success to hard work, Yorkshire thrift and a straightforward approach to doing business – we are immensely proud of the JCT600 family we have created.”

The company used the conference to show a video of its history. The first vehicle it sold was a Jowett van for £175, and over the last seven decades, it has sold more than a million vehicles. At the moment, it averages 825 sales a week.

Chairman and company founder Jack Tordoff said: “I’ve seen some huge changes in the motor industry, but it still all comes down to people. We’ve worked hard to maintain our strong family values as we’ve grown, recruiting and training like-minded people who want to put the customer first.”