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Warwickshire car dealership going the extra mile

A family-run specialist car dealership is going the extra mile for its customers by investing in its growing business.

DT Performance Cars was launched by Daniel Tranter from his driveway in Nuneaton in January 2016 before moving to a purpose-built 8,000 sq ft showroom on the Manor Road Industrial Estate in Atherstone in September 2017.

A wide range of luxury high-specification models ranging from Porsches to Maseratis are sourced by the independent business and sold throughout the UK and overseas.

During the pandemic, DT Performance Cars diversified into offering storage services which has proved to be a growth area of the business.

Daniel’s mum Yvonne, who is the accounts manager at the business, attended a networking event organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and found out about the support available from the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub.

Daniel contacted the Growth Hub to find out if there were any grants available to invest in another ramp to increase storage capacity and to buy a trailer to be used for deliveries.

The Growth Hub introduced Daniel to Coventry City Council who help small and medium sized businesses to apply to the Coventry and Warwickshire Investment Fund which is part funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

DT Performance Cars was awarded a grant of £3,523 towards the two purchases with the business contributing £14,093.

Daniel said the business has expanded organically with the introduction of a well-lit showroom, mezzanine offices, triple stack vehicle storage ramps, detailing studio and an external wash bay.

“Our business has changed due to Covid-19 and it is amazing how many high-value cars we are selling over the phone which meant we needed a trailer to carry out more deliveries,” he said.

“We had already bought a tow vehicle but wanted an enclosed trailer to keep cars clean whilst in transit to the client. We used to rent a normal trailer but this is so much better and efficient.

“The cars we sell are going up in value and we have more customers who are not driving them away but leaving them in our high-security building. We had two ramps before which were installed about 18 months ago but having a third ramp means we have more space inside the building to store more cars which will help with our expansion.

“Customers are wanting to store their cars for longer so space was becoming a key issue but now we have more space we can accommodate this and it doesn’t feel as crammed.

“The Growth Hub has been very helpful in helping us to look for grants which is really appreciated.”

Linda Savitri, Account Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said the grant had resolved DT Performance Cars’ storage issues to help them continue to expand.

She said: “Over the last 24 months it was record month after record month until last November and December when sales started to slow down but business has picked up again this year and they are selling their luxury cars really quickly once again.

“It is fantastic they have bounced back so quickly from the pandemic and that they are selling more cars than they did previously as some people have looked to invest in high-performance vehicles.”

Kierandeep Bal, Business Development Advisor at Coventry City Council, added: “It’s great that Dan was able to diversity his business during the pandemic by adding to the services he originally offered by not only selling luxury cars to customers but also storing them for the customer too.

“It’s clear the company is going from strength to strength, and it probably won’t be too long until they are looking for even more space to expand the business even further! Both the Growth Hub and Coventry City Council will be on hand to support with any future business development plans too and look forward to working with Dan and his team again.”

Further support was offered to the business by the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme, which is part funded by ERDF and delivered by Coventry City Council, Coventry University and Coventry University Enterprises. A comprehensive energy audit was carried out on site, which identified areas of potential energy and cost savings and recommended improvement measures designed to reduce energy usage.

Using the report, the business replaced their old fluorescent and high-bay lighting with high-efficiency LED equivalents. Overall, these improvements have provided cost savings of nearly £1,000 per annum, whilst reducing carbon emissions by over two tonnes.

Jonathan Howl, Business Energy Advisor at Coventry City Council, said: “The Green Business Programme is designed to help businesses reduce their energy consumption, which is particularly important with energy prices at a record high. We were able to support DT Performance Cars with a grant of £2,984 towards the total capital cost of £7,641, which helped kick start the project and reduce the payback for the investment.”

The Growth Hub is supported by funders including Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s District and Borough Councils.

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Caption: From the left, Daniel Tranter (DT Performance Cars), Kierandeep Bal (Coventry City Council), Jonathan Howl (Coventry City Council) and Linda Savitri (Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub)

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