The Story Behind Sandicliffe!

Sandicliffe Is One Of The Oldest Motor Groups In The Country. But How Exactly Did The East Midlands Biggest Ford Retailer Come About? The Story Begins In 1948

May 30, 2014

At the point where two local businessmen bought a small petrol station and workshop premises on Nottingham Road, Stapleford in 1948, it employed ‘two men and a boy’.  Little did Richard Woodhouse and Henry Barton know that over sixty years later, their small business would have grown into one of the largest and most trusted motor retailers in the East Midlands.

In the early days, Richard would man the petrol pumps from 7am until 11pm before retiring to the workshop to mend punctures until the small hours of the morning.  After steadily growing the business for a number of years, the pair landed one of the most important Ford dealerships in the area in 1955 and have been selling Ford cars and commercials ever since.

In the first year of trading the company made a net profit of £125 and, thanks to restrictions from Ford, could only sell four cars per year – partly the reason that we branched out into used car sales.  Now, Sandicliffe employs over 600 people at eleven sites across the East Midlands and sells over 12,000 cars annually.

Everything that East Midlands motorists need

Over more than six decades, Sandicliffe have grown from a simple petrol station to one of the region’s leading motor specialists.

We expanded across the region throughout the 1960s and 1970s, adding major sites in Ilkeston, Boston, Long Eaton and Loughborough. Some of these sites remain, while other dealerships in Melton Mowbray and Leicester have replaced sites that have since been sold.

Since the early days, we have added Kia, Mazda, ŠKODA and Nissan dealerships to our Ford franchise.  In addition, we now stock one of the region’s biggest ranges of quality used cars as well new and used commercial vehicles.

Reg Tutt, Managing Director of Sandicliffe, says: “The company has come a long way since humble beginnings in 1948.  However, we’ve always managed to retain our local identity and the name Sandicliffe has become synonymous with quality service and motoring expertise across the region.

“Now, if you ask anyone in the East Midlands to name someone who sells new cars, one in three people will say ‘Sandicliffe’.  This is testament to the vision of the company’s founders and the loyalty of drivers in the region.”

Serving Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II since 1978

Receiving a Royal Warrant is a rare honour in any industry but particularly in the motor sector.  However, from a long family association and a love of show jumping from the late Sixties, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Sandicliffe the Royal Warrant in 1978.

Reg Tutt, Managing Director of Sandicliffe, says: “The Royal Warrant was granted in 1978 by Her Majesty the Queen for the supply and maintenance of a number of horseboxes and other commercial vehicles.  The Warrant remains to this day.

“Sandicliffe regard it as a great honour to hold the royal warrant to Her Majesty the Queen and we strive to give excellence and quality of service to this day.  There are around 850 Royal Warrant holders representing a huge cross-section of industries and Sandicliffe remain proud suppliers to Her Majesty.”

A family business with honesty at its core

For years, we have been known as the ‘East Midlands’ great motoring family’.  Despite our expansion, we remain a family-run business with the values of integrity and honesty at its core.

Honesty has always been a fundamental business principle of the group.  According to Richard Woodhouse: “Honesty is the best policy. If we had anyone bordering on the corrupt in any way we would have failed. In fact we have always done everything above the law.

“By doing so we have probably missed making a million a lot of times, but it is good to go home and put my head on the pillow and think what a wonderful example we have set by doing things the right way”.


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