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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Carlisle luxury motors showroom thriving despite recession

David Hayton Prestige Cars is about to celebrate two years of trading, and business is booming for the Carlisle firm.

Richard Naylor photo
Sales manager Richard Naylor

The depths of a recession is an unpromising time to launch a business selling the most luxurious and expensive cars.But David Hayton Prestige Cars at Kingstown, Carlisle, is about to celebrate two years of trading.

It says that sales are rising and there is no shortage of customers for its pre-owned cars, which include Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins and the occasional Rolls Royce.

The showroom in Grearshill Road attracts customers from all over the world but, perhaps surprisingly, approximately 60 per cent are from Cumbria and south west Scotland.

The most expensive car sold to date is a 217mph Lamborghini Aventador, which went for £325,000 to a private buyer in the south east of England.

David Hayton has an established Peugeot franchise.

Managing director Chris Hayton launched the prestige car division early in 2010 shortly after the showroom relocated from Caldewgate to make way for Sainsbury’s supermarket.

The extra space at Kingstown allowed for a dedicated prestige car showroom.

He said: “It was a business opportunity because there is nobody else doing this between Preston and Scotland.

“But I love the cars too. I had a Lamborghini Gallardo for seven years.”

Sales manager Richard Naylor said: “There are plenty of used car dealers who dabble in the odd sports car but there’s nothing like this [in Cumbria] where people can come and see prestige cars in their best light.”

The showroom can accommodate up to 20 cars.

The current selection includes an Aston Martin 6.0 V12 Vanquish at £79,995, a Ferrari F430 Coupe at £74,995, a Bentley Continental Flying Spur at £49,995, and a Porsche 997 Carrera 4S Cabriolet at £36,995.

Mr Naylor said: “We haven’t set a limit where we only sell cars over £100,000 as some dealers do.

“But all the cars we sell are in fantastic condition and everything is hand-picked. We don’t buy cars over the phone. We physically go and touch and feel the car we’re going to sell.”

Cars like these attract determined buyers.

Mr Naylor said: “We had a customer in New Zealand who bought a Bentley Continental GTC and came over to look at it. It took five-and-a-half weeks to ship it back but it was worth it for him.

“We’ve also sold a Porsche GT 3RS to a customer in Hong Kong.”

He added: “Our customers are wide-ranging, from young people who have a good job, business people looking for a second car or retired people looking to treat themselves.

“For many it’s a car that comes out at weekends.

“We are starting to see repeat customers now. Some people buying these cars don’t keep them for three years – they tend to change them after a year.”

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