Brayleys Cars managing director is signing-up a motorcycle training school (and a burger van) to boost the appeal of its recently-opened Honda franchise after being impressed by the site’s success.
The St Albans based AM100 car retail group has swelled its franchise relationship with the Japanese OEM by six locations after attracting investment from shareholders AW Rostamani in 2019 but Paul Brayley spoke to AM about the particular success of the group’s first foray into two-wheeled mobility.
Brayleys Motorcycles was launched at the former Glyn Hopkin dealership in Romford in November last year and Brayley is already eyeing significant success, with hopes of 1,000 annual sales from a standing start in the sector.
“When we acquired the site, it was clear that it was monstrously big, having been built in Honda’s 2005/2006 heyday in the UK. It was clear that we needed to dual franchise,” Brayley reflects.
“We decided to put Honda Motorcycles because I thought motorcycles would be a really interesting thing to do, applying all the good processes we have while recruiting people who were passionate about bikes.
“The results have been impressive. From the opening in November to now we’ve sold 82 bikes and I think we could sell as many as 500 bikes this year, with scope to sell 1,000 in future.”
Brayleys Motorcycles currently has a manager and a two-strong sales team and Brayley suggested there had been no shortage of volunteers to “cross-train” to introduce a new discipline in the form of motorcycles.
And it is clear that he has quickly identified strong differences between the car retail sector and a passionate potential customer base in the two-wheeled community.
The business is about to introduce a burger van on a Saturday, to attract passing bikers and group meetings, and has also signed a contract with a motorcycle training school that will be based at the site on Gallows Corner, off Romford’s Southend Arterial Road.
“There are huge differences, and I can see the huge potential in the business,” Brayley said.
“We already have changing facilities there that are a match for Selfridges in Mayfair, which is a great start, but I’m aware that we really need to grow our accessories sales. That is a new concept for us as a car retail group, but offering leathers and helmets and other accessories is a huge part of the business going forward.”
Brayley said that Brayleys Cars delivered a 3% return on sales on £190 million turnover in 2022, marking an impressive rise from the £120m projected for 2017 when AM last profiled the business.
The group now has a market area centred around the M25 and is eyeing growth with its existing franchise partners Honda, Kia, Mazda and Renault/Dacia as well as considering new brands, Brayley said.
At the same the business is looking to achieve new efficiencies in partnership with fellow AM100 retail group West Way.
The former Nissan GB-owned operation was acquired by AW Rostamani last year and Brayley is keen to leverage any benefits that can be gained through closer co-operation.
“There are clear benefits from co-operation,” he said.
“We’ll be getting our heads together to see what we can do to benefit the whole business and there are a few clear avenues. Brayleys has never really had a significant fleet offering, for example, so we could help each other on that front.”
Earlier this year Brayleys became the latest AM100 retail group to partner with Karzoom to provide a car subscription offering – following in the footsteps of follows Hendy Group and Perrys.
Brayley said: “Since 2003, Brayleys has constantly evolved it’s business model.
“Vehicle subscription forms a key part in the development of our omnichannel business operation.
“It reflects our innovative approach, responding to the ever-changing mobility needs of our customers.”