Pennine Autos may seem like an example of quick success. But owners Mark John and James Feather in their newly refurbished premises at the old Rockwood garage and latterly Garden Centre at Grange Moor down from Lepton on the A642. They have enjoyed steady progress and success but not without a lot of hard work and dedication to the business.
The two then friends both always shared a keen interest in Land Rovers and other 4×4’s. James was a truck driver working alongside his father Kevin in the family business, Feathers Transport. Mark was sales director for a local company and a very keen off-road enthusiast. Both had always wanted to combine their passion for Land/Range rovers and set up a business to service the growing used market.
Both of them had been dabbling a bit as a hobby but in early 2008 the two of them took the plunge and Pennine Autos was born, initially in a single unit in Shelf with four cars. During the next four years they worked tirelessly looking for, buying ,servicing and selling Land Rovers etc.
One thing they were absolutely committed to was striving to give a better service than main dealers wherever possible. This certainly paid off as they quickly established a number of regular customers and many new ones on the back of word of mouth satisfaction and also because their contacts were able to source particular models.
The Pennine promise was then – and is still to this day -to offer vehicles at the right price and in only absolutely tip-top condition.
With this level of commitment and increasing sales they outgrew Shelf and moved in 2012 to two units at Low Moor in Bradford where they had the capacity to comfortably house 22 cars at any one time. Expansion continued and within 12 months they took on another extra bigger unit.
James and Mark had always wanted to own their own premises and have somewhere with scope to grow and future proof the business, so when Rockwood came up for sale it was if it was meant to be – the ideal location and ample space for growth. They negotiated for Rockwood despite it being in need of major refurbishment including structural alteration and repair.
Rockwood is now in pristine condition sporting new roof, interior, hard standing area and perimeter fencing plus superb frontage, clear signage and customer lounge area inside. Buying from Pennine Autos is a pleasurable experience from initial interest to handshake.
They will be having an official open day during the summer to officially welcome customers old and new.
Because service and quality have always been so important to them, Mark and James have an impressive number of customers, many regulars and even certain celebrities come to them because they know they will source the right vehicle for them while maintaining the utmost discretion.
Part of the success of the business is that it is a family concern with both wives involved. For the past five years James’ father Kevin has worked for them. His is often the very knowledgeable friendly face that will greet you on the forecourt. Even James’s 11 year old son Jayce loves to get involved and customers have commented on his own knowledge of the vehicles.
The one thread that runs through all of them is the passion for Land Rovers. One of their biggest successes has been their ability to pick the right Defenders and now, with them out of production, they will start to become more scarce, so Pennine will become ever more important for those people who want a beloved Defender.
Every vehicle is serviced, tested and MOT’d before it goes anywhere near a customer. Across the years they have developed a superb network for parts etc. All vehicles come with a warranty period of your choice. They use Auto Protect which is considered one of the best – used by Harley Davidson and Subaru to name but two. Excellent finance packages are also available.
Because of the quality and keen prices it is not surprising that the duo have a lot of customers within the farming community. As Mark commented: “Farmers want a vehicle that just keeps going no matter what terrain or weather and if it does stop it ain’t for long!” Where they are placed puts Pennine right in the heart of the farming community and easily accessible for everyone else only being a stone’s throw from the M62 and M1.
Future plans include further growth in sales but Mark and James also want to establish a state of the art 4 x 4 service centre and also on the spare land behind the premises, an off-road test course.
With sales continually increasing they are always on the lookout for good vehicles to buy, giving very good prices for the right ones.
So if you are looking for Defenders, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, 4x 4’s etc whatever model or price range a visit to see Mark, James and Kevin is a must and quite probably the only place you need to go.