Two highly-experienced former directors of regional car dealers Wood BMW Group have joined forces to launch their own independent dealership in Bath specialising in sports and prestige cars.
Jim Currant and John Lyddy have invested £1.5m with support from Barclays to acquire the old Dunsford Landrover site on Box Road, transforming the derelict 11,000 sq ft premises into a new showroom and vehicle service centre.
The business partners, who have wanted to work for themselves for many years, have a combined total of 75 years in motor retailing. When their employers recently sold to new franchise operators they jumped at the opportunity – six months on Minerva Sports and Prestige has opened for business.
Jim is already well known in the Bath area having been the director/dealer principal at Wellsway BMW for 12 years, while John has an equally impressive track record working for BMW in Salisbury, Hampshire and Dorset.
John, who has become managing director of Minerva Sports and Prestige, said: “The opportunity to start our own dealership and purchase the premises is one we couldn’t refuse. We’re delighted that Barclays has been on board from the start. They have been dynamic in their approach and have worked hard to deliver the financial solutions we required for our new venture in a challenging timescale.”
The business has already hired four people, including two experienced sales staff and two highly-skilled technicians.
Barclays senior business manager Richard Crew said: “Barclays has an appetite to lend to businesses such as this which have a strong management team in place alongside a clear business strategy. We wish Jim and John every success as their new dealership gets off the ground. They’ve had a flying start already and their expertise in the industry will no doubt stand them in good stead in the coming months.”
Minerva Sports and Prestige stocks between of 30 and 40 handpicked high-quality cars at any one time.
Pictured, front left and right: John Lyddy and Jim Currant with some of their team at Minerva Sports and Prestige