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The Company commenced trading as a motor business in Plymouth during 1946. The present Chairman’s father founded the business and he was joined by his own father after incorporation in 1951. Over the years the Company became franchise holders for AC, Fiat, Volkswagen, Jaguar and Simca and then was appointed a Ford Retail Dealer in 1957. Vospers entered into the daily rental and contract hire business through their associated company, Vospers Rentacar Ltd in the 1950’s.
In 1960 Vospers were appointed Ford Main Dealers and moved to their site in Millbay Road. Subsequently the Company was appointed a Truck Specialist Dealer for Ford trucks and vans in 1966.
Peter Vosper joined his father in the business in 1966 and assisted in the development of the Company to the status of sole Ford Main Dealer in Plymouth in 1970. Following the sudden death of his father, Peter Vosper became Managing Director in 1974. Further expansion followed over the next five years into other activities such as Motorcycles, Marine and a Vehicle Body Building operation. 1979 saw the building of a new truck facility and then in 1980 the creation of a specialist Used Car business, Ferryport Motors.
A major acquisition in 1986 secured Ford representation for Vospers in both Truro and Penzance. The 90’s saw further growth of the Company with the acquisition of premises in Redruth/Camborne - Vospers of Pool and, in early 1995, the Ford Main Dealership in Falmouth. This exceptional period of expansion culminated in the opening of the prestigious new state of the art premises at Marsh Mills in 1995 in Plymouth. The building reflected the Company’s intention to ensure customers and staff have equipment and premises fully capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century. During 1996, in line with its commitment to customer satisfaction, premises at Millbay Road were completely refurbished. This provided a valuable service to drivers in the Plymouth City Centre.
Since 1996 Vospers has also acquired St Austell and Liskeard from Cornish Ford, Chaddlewood Garages in Plympton and opened a Ford authorised repairer in Tavistock. The Company has continued its expansion programme with a brand new Dealership at Treliske in Truro. Developments also included a new Accident Repair Centre and a new Dealership in St Austell. Vospers were also asked by Ford to add Mazda to their portfolio and have Dealerships in Plymouth, Truro and Exeter.
After the changes to Block Exemption in 2002, Fiat approached Vospers and there are now Fiat Dealerships in Truro, St Austell, Plymouth and Exeter. Alfa Romeo representation for Devon commenced in 2008 at Exeter on the Fiat site. When Abarth required an exclusive network
of less than 20 dealers, Vospers were appointed for the South West territory based at Plymouth.
Further acquisitions have added Ford Dealerships at Exmouth, Tiverton, Torbay and Exeter Marsh Barton. In 2009 Vospers acquired the Peugeot Dealer in Plymouth. In 2010 Vospers aquired both the Nissan and Renault franchises in Plymouth, with a long term view of creating a new Commercial Centre at Valley Road and bringing all 3 new franchises to Marsh Mills in state of the art premises.
Today the Vospers Group, with a turnover approaching £235 million, consists of 16 separate sites offering vehicle sales and aftercare to its customers throughout Devon and Cornwall.
Vospers continued development reflects its loyalty to both customer and employee satisfaction. The Company is recognised as a leading employer in Devon and Cornwall and has won many prestigious awards for its outstanding commitment to customer care in the world of automotive retailing. The Company also maintains its position as one of the top 50 motor dealers in Great Britain. Vospers believe that employee engagement and retention forms a cornerstone of any successful organisation, which is reflected in its dedication to training, personal development, and open two way communication. Both Bob Foster (Group Parts Director) and Mark Haslam (Contact & Communications Director) are examples of this, who joined the company as young men and have worked their way up to the appointment as Directors.
Nick Vosper joined his father in the business in 1996, after completing his studies at university and following extensive training with Ford Credit, Ford and a Ford Dealership in London. Since joining the business Nick has undertaken a number of projects, including his MBA at Exeter University. Nick was appointed as Managing Director in 2011.
Nick has recently strengthened the team with a number of appointments including Ben Darnell as Used Car Director and Neil Tickner as Service Director. He has also been responsible for enabling Paul Rogers (Financial Director) and Mark Haslam to obtain their MBA’s though Exeter University.