New van-chise plan for leasing broker

A TRING business is stepping up its go-for-growth strategy by launching a new network of franchisees over the summer.

Van and pick-up leasing broker Autorama, based at Cow Roast, has seen sales rise by 45 per cent in the last two years, expanding staff from five to 32 in the same time.

Now Autorama is selling franchises, initially for £18,500 but normally for £24,995, to build a network of salespeople around the country.

Andy Alderson, Autorama’s group MD, said: “While on-line business is the bread and butter of our operation, we understand that there are still many customers out there who prefer to speak face to face when buying a new van, it’s one of the most expensive assets they will invest in, after all.”

Franchisees get on-going support via a training programme including sales, networking and product knowledge training, allowing franchisees to quickly develop their business.

Most of Autorama’s sales are currently made on-line, via vanarama.co.uk and pick-uptrucksdirect.co.uk. Now the Autorama Group is adopting the personal approach too, with a team of vanarama mobile salespeople who will go direct to the customer.

The commercial vehicle market grew by 16.7 per cent in the last year alone and the popularity of leasing, rather than outright purchase, is on the rise, too.

While traditional franchisees tend to be tied to sales from a single manufacturer, vanarama gets significant volume buying power over a range of popular marques, which they then pass directly to customers with truly impartial advice.

Mr Alderson continued: “Although we live in the Facebook age there are still a lot of people who prefer the personal touch.

“Customer service is key to any successful business and by expanding vanarama with mobile salespeople, we aim to offer choice to the customer, while offering an exciting and profitable business opportunity to our franchisees.”

The franchise network will begin training and trading over the summer.