Hatfields launches new look Land Rover facility in Hull
Hull is flying the flag for the luxury Land Rover brand in the north, following a £3.8m spend on the Hatfields Land Rover Hull dealership.
The major investment by the family-owned Hatfields business has seen superb showrooms and a state of the art service centre created, transforming the site that the company acquired two years ago.
About 300 people attended the launch night for the new-look Land Rover premises and were invited to explore at their leisure, while sipping Champagne and enjoying luscious little platefuls of food provided by celebrity chef Colin McGurran, of Winteringham Fields, and his talented team.
“The location is the same, but everything else has changed,” declared the invitation to guests, who were able to check out the new Land Rover Discovery Sport model, as well as the revamped facilities, to the live soundtrack of one of the UK’s leading female saxophonists, Ellie Sax.
A plaque was unveiled by Chris Newitt, sales director of Jaguar Land Rover UK, marking the official opening on Thursday, March 12.
A special guest on the night was the city’s Olympic boxing hero Luke Campbell, with whom Hatfields Land Rover signed a £60,000 sponsorship deal.
Mr Campbell was the first star to be offered a deal with Land Rover since golfer Lee Westwood in 1994.
The Hull dealership, at Livingstone Road, Hessle, is the first of eight Jaguar Land Rover businesses owned by Hatfields, an independent Yorkshire-based concern, to receive the makeover; the other seven will receive the same standard of refurbishment over the next two years.
Gareth Williams, managing director of Hatfields, who made the opening speech on launch night, said the change from old to new at the city site was “hugely significant”.
“It has been designed to be a space that customers want to spend time in,” said Mr Williams.
“It’s that whole ambience that we want to create. It is less about selling cars and more about being a good place that people can feel relaxed in.
“From bean-to-cup coffee to computers for the children, it has been about developing a comfortable environment.
“The most important thing to say is, we haven’t built it for us and we haven’t built it for Land Rover, we have built it for the customer.
“We very much want it to be a place people can walk around – they can wander into the workshop to see what is going on, if they want to. There are no hidden ‘backroom’ areas.”
Mr Williams said: “We recognise as a brand that we are not only up against other car manufacturers but also every other area of luxury spending.
“It is personal choice whether someone decides to spend on a luxury car and it is our aim to make them feel pampered while they make that choice.
“Yes, it has been a big investment for us, but Hull is an excellent business model.
“The business is flying high, and more and more customers are being drawn to the brand, so this commitment makes sense going forward into the future.
“We have enjoyed a very good relationship with Hull, so this is bit of payback to the local people.
“We will be spending a similar amount just across the road at our Jaguar dealership.”
Kerr Mackie, head of business at Hatfields Land Rover Hull, said: “With regards to the launch night, it went very, very well and we have had some great feedback from customers since.
“Linking with Winteringham Fields seems to have been very well received by everybody.
“I think the dealership offers a more user-friendly experience now, the facility is more modern and easy to understand.
“It is more comfortable for people whether they are waiting for a vehicle, they are dropping a vehicle off for servicing or are buying a car. I think the whole experience has been enhanced.
“We have also grown the team slightly – already this year we have taken on two new local apprentices, as we are looking to expand everyone’s skills set from a technical perspective in the workshop.
“It is all about delivering a great customer experience.”
Hatfields is one of the oldest established Jaguar dealers in the world, Ernest Hatfield having first begun selling motor vehicles in Sheffield in the 1920s.
Today, Hatfields operates dealerships across the North of England and the West Midlands and is one of the largest independent dealer groups in the UK for Land Rover, Jaguar, Hyundai and Volvo.