It all started with just one man, a big idea and a love of cars and from these inauspicious roots, some 83 years ago, grew the well-known local business, W. Brindley Garages.
Started by the Father of Robin Brindley – the current Chairman of Brindley Garages Group – Bill Brindley began selling Morris cars at Birches Bridge Garage from a wooden shed in Codsall in 1931.
It was at a time when the world was still recovering from the Great Depression, Britain was in a mess and times were hard. So difficult, in fact, that the garage had to close over the war years and was near derelict when Colonel Brindley returned from war in 1945.
Not in his wildest dreams could Bill envisage the business emerging so triumphantly from the post-war gloom to grow into the mighty empire that is one of the West Midland’s largest family-owned and family-run motor groups today.
An empire that now comprises 12 dealerships holding 10 different franchises throughout the West Midlands.
And the remarkable part of the story is that it’s still a family business that seems set to continue that way.
It’s now in the capable hands of Robin, who joined the company nearly half a century ago and progressively worked his way up from the shop floor to ensure a thorough understanding of the motor trade before taking the company helm.
Robin’s stepson, Che Watson, is the company’s Managing Director, and he is set on ensuring the company’s growth as he takes on new challenges.
With an unwavering devotion to traditions handed down from father to son, Brindleys embrace all the best of today’s manufacturing marques and serve their customers with second-to-none attention to detail and an enviable level of sales and after sales attentiveness.
Long standing family customers trust that with Robin Brindley and Che Watson in charge, their needs will be met with a degree of conscientiousness that is so often lacking in business today.
“It’s that personal touch that is beyond price,” commented Robin when interviewed in the group head office within the imposing new building housing the Kia showroom on Penn Road, Wolverhampton.
“The fact is that with our unrivalled expertise and knowledge of both the products we sell and the customers we serve, we can go a long way towards ensuring that each is well suited to the other. Our focus has traditionally been not just on how many cars we can sell but on how many customers we can please”.
With an ethos tailored to please customers, not just to sell cars, over 12,000 new and used vehicles are sold to private and fleet clients a year. And with a loyal staff of over 300 working as a cohesive team – 20 have been with the company for as long as a quarter of a century – a turnover of £150 million has been reached.
Many key personnel have played their parts along the way and perhaps few more so than recently semi-retired Financial Director, David Tolley, whose financial acumen successfully enabled many of the Groups acquisitions.
His successor Paul Ashcroft, who has worked alongside David for 10 years, is determined to ensure that the Groups success continues.
Brindley have been supplying the best selection of Motability vehicles in the West Midlands for over 20 years and there is no doubt that the company’s expertise in the field is unrivalled.
The business takes the lead with vehicles of the two-wheeled variety too, with over 100 new and used motorbikes and scooters on show at their Stafford Road site – which opened in 2009.
Following the announcement from Chevrolet that it will be withdrawing from the country this year, Brindley have been quick to reassure their clients that service and repairs will continue for years to come.
Another franchise will be added shortly
There may be speed limits on our roads, but there’s surely no limit to the growth of this family business!