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tribute to industry stalwart david jary

Industry stalwart David Jary, director of Lings Motor Group, passed away on 9 December, aged 81 years. A funeral service was held on 28 December in Harleston, Norfolk.

David was awarded a British Dealer News Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 in recognition of his contribution to the motorcycle industry.
 
He worked for a business steeped in the motorcycle trade, the origins going back to 1874 when William Ling went into business as a wheelwright and blacksmith.

Eighty-five years later, in 1959, David Jary met and later married Anne Ling, daughter of Peter, a grandson of blacksmith founder William. Back then, the business was selling motorcycles and bicycles and wanted to expand, but approaches to the British motorcycle manufacturers were ignored, so when Honda launched at the 1961 Earl’s Court bike show, David’s visit to its stand sowed the seeds now selling all Honda products bikes, cars and power products.
 
A shrewd businessman, David recognised the potential of spares distribution right from the start, and saw it as a key to Ling’s future. Over the years, investment to increase warehouse capacity and efficiency has been substantial.
 
The company, which was supplying 800 Honda dealers, was the first to recognise the need for computerised stock control systems and pioneered what has now become standard in any spares business.
 
As a newspaper article noted in the late seventies: “Bordering on silly Suffolk they might be, but Lings of Harleston has shown that such a reputation is far from the truth and although it is not given to shouting about its success in East Anglia, it is still there and few would deny that to start from scratch and become the largest distributor of Honda spares in the country is success with a capital S.”
 
In 1988, Anne and David’s son Chris joined the family business and became managing director when David retired in 1992.
 
Since then, Lings has continued to grow. Apart from Honda, it also has the Triumph and Husqvarna motorcycle franchises. The four-wheel division of the company has also developed and alongside Honda now retails Mitsubishi and Hyundai cars. There is also a separate used car superstore.

Strategically placed through East Anglia, Lings Motor Group’s five showrooms are at Harleston, Lowestoft, Watton and Ipswich, and between the retail and spares operations employ 110 staff.

David Jary is survived by his wife Anne, son Chris and daughter Belinda.

 

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