£1.1bn turnover Yorkshire-based car retailer JCT600 this week (26 January) held its annual conference and used the occasion to celebrate its 70th anniversary, bringing together almost 2,000 colleagues, suppliers and business contacts at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
John Tordoff, chief executive, charted the business’ history since it was founded by John’s father and current chairman, Jack in 1946 as Brooklands Garage on Sticker Lane, Bradford, subsequently building it from a single dealership into the largest privately owned business in Yorkshire.
The company now has 50 dealerships representing 18 of the world’s leading car marques; its turnover last year exceeded £1.1bn for the first time and JCT600 now employs over 2,300 staff at its dealerships from Lincolnshire to Newcastle, and at the firm’s Bradford head office.
John Tordoff, chief executive of JCT600, said: “Our annual conference is a great opportunity to thank everyone we work with for their continued support – it is only by working closely with our trusted partners that we have been able to build such a successful company and we wanted them to join us as we celebrate how far we have come over the last 70 years.”
The theme of the conference was ‘overcoming challenges’ with Falklands war veteran Simon Weston CBE as guest speaker alongside current chief executive John Tordoff.
“Overcoming challenges’ is certainly an appropriate theme – it has not been an easy journey, to have survived so long in business is an achievement in itself. We attribute our success to hard work, Yorkshire thrift and a straight forward approach to doing business – we are immensely proud of the JCT600 family we have created,” he added.
The event included a unique display of some of the most iconic vehicles of the last seven decades. Classic and vintage cars on display included a 1948 Jowett Javelin; a 1952 Bentley R-type Continental; a Volkswagen campervan from the ‘60s; a 1970s Porsche 914 Targa; an Audi Quattro ST1 from the 1980s; a Ferrari Testarossa to represent the 1990s; a Mercedes-Benz CLK from 2000; and, from the current decade, a 2015 Volkswagen XL1, a BMW i8 and an Aston Martin DB10. JCT600 also showed a 70th anniversary video featuring key milestones in the company’s development https://youtu.be/lIb0DH43euU
The first vehicle sold by JCT600 was a Jowett van priced at £175. Since then, the company has sold more than a one million vehicles, and currently sells over around 825 vehicles every week.
Jack Tordoff, chairman of JCT600, said: “Having spent 65 years working, I’ve seen some huge changes in the motor industry, but it still all comes down to people. We’ve worked hard to maintain our strong family values as we’ve grown, recruiting and training like-minded people who want to put the customer first.
“As a result, we’ve established a loyal following with satisfied customers coming back to us time and time again over the years. I have thoroughly enjoyed building the business and as a proud Yorkshireman, I’m particularly delighted that it is the largest family company in the region.”