Dealer John Banks Group motoring ahead as it takes on new site in Cambridge

John Banks, Mark Banks, Melanie Banks and Justin Banks of the John Banks Group

John Banks, Mark Banks, Melanie Banks and Justin Banks of the John Banks Group - Credit: Archant

An East Anglian motor dealer is set to expand after taking on a site in Cambridge.

Bury St Edmunds-based John Banks Limited, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary, has added the Renault and Dacia franchise at Swann’s Road in Cambridge to its portfolio.

The John Banks Group, a family business, already has seven franchised sites – Honda at Cambridge, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, Suzuki at Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds and Honda Motorcycles at Bury and Cambridge.

It bought the site in Swann’s Road, from Richard West, whose family business has been operating in Cambridgeshire for more than 50 years and John Banks now becomes the new name in the city for Renault and Dacia sales, service and parts.

The dealership’s 25-strong team will join the business, bringing the total John Banks Group workforce to more than 150.

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It will temporarily trade from a sales facility at 217 Newmarket Road in Cambridge while a new showroom is built at Swann’s Road. In 12 weeks, the sales and aftersales team will be brought together at Swann’s Road with the aim of building the Renault and Dacia brand in the area. Meanwhile, the Wests site in Newmarket Road is earmarked for demolition.

John Banks Group chief executive Melanie Banks-Browne spearheaded the purchase of the site while managing director Mark Banks has led the development of the brand, along with the John Banks management team. This includes the development of a commercial van side which the firm sees as an important growth area.

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“This has been a difficult time for a takeover as we have had to deal with the Christmas break and have ultimately had some unforeseen delays due to timescales available but we are now pleased that we are ‘in’ on site and have acquired a great team of staff whose knowledge and experience spans hundreds of years between them,” said Ms Banks-Browne.

“We are in the process of putting in new computer and data systems, new training and development and are now recruiting for more staff to join the existing strong team.”

The firm has an existing workshop in Cheddars Lane, Cambridge, offering service, repair and MOT for all makes. “With the new site at Swann’s Road having the commercial facility for vans and Class 7 MOT. we have the ability now to deal all all levels of vehicles,” said Mr Banks.

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