A small Surrey dealer that specialises in idiosyncrasy
“We are somewhere between a modern dealership and the traditional British garage,” says Miguel Andrew of Surrey-based specialist Bell & Colvill. Located in the leafy Surrey hills but within easy reach of the M25, Bell & Colvill certainly has a large catchment area. The fact that it sells nearly a third of Lotus’s UK market share shows that a more traditional approach can still reap results.
Bell & Colvill is also a Subaru dealer, the customer base reverting to its country-set roots following the gold-wheeled glory days of the Impreza. They, like Lotus buyers, tend to be repeat customers, valuing the personal approach and comfortable surroundings of the traditional red-brick showroom. To these two brands Bell & Colvill has more recently added Morgan, this trio of sometimes eccentric marques suits the scale and location of the business. “We have people coming here who have been buying cars from us since the ’70s,” says Miguel.
Morgan is a perfect fit in a world like this, the showroom’s rural setting in keeping with the brand’s sense of English identity. It’s certainly more appropriate than some vast, impersonal “glass palace” as Miguel puts it. In fact, the temptation to expand has been tempered by the realisation it would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. This keeps the focus on sales, rather than expanding into a restoration business dedicated to, say, S1 Elises. Staying focused and providing an environment appropriate to the characters of the brands they sell has been a winning formula since 1970. Why change now?