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Dealer with ‘for sale’ sign reports record turnover

A motorcycle dealership which has been on the market for three months has notched up record second-quarter turnover, its owner claims.

The third quarter is also looking good, according to Clive Walton, who owns John W Groombridge Motorcycles Ltd of East Sussex, along with his brother, Keith. As BDN reported in June, they are trying to sell the Heathfield-based business to retire, but until a buyer is found, the pair say it’s business as usual.

The Waltons bought the Suzuki, Kawasaki and Royal Enfield dealership from the Groombridge family in 2006 and say turnover has grown from £1.4 million to £2.7 million last year. They have forecast turnover of £2.98 million for the year ending 31 March, 2017.

“We have had a record quarter. It has been amazing,” said Clive Walton. “All this Brexit nonsense – my view is that it’s a jolly good thing. Bring it on quicker than ever. The second quarter of this year – April, May, June – was the best quarter we have had in the 10.5 years we had the business, and it has carried on since. Although July wasn’t outstanding, it was better than last July and August is also panning out quite well.

“We are doing well with Kawasaki for obvious reasons – it has got a good range and is putting some effort into it. Suzuki is hard work but bizarrely we are not doing badly with it because it is putting so much money behind the few models it has got left in its range. It’s not up in the Triumph and Honda leagues but it’s not bad.

“Royal Enfield has taken a dip this year. Some of the key people have left and there’s no real promotion going on and it has reflected in the sales.”

Walton would not provide registration figures but said he would be happy to do so to anyone interested in the business.

“Quarter two is looking good as well. It is probably going to be somewhere up close to the million mark so we are probably going to be £1.8m to £1.9m by the end of Q2.

“Then we have got the winter and Euro 4 calamity coming so I really don’t know what the autumn and early spring quarters are going to bring. Our stocks are looking a little bit weak at the moment, particularly with Suzuki.”

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