NATIONWIDE Vehicle Contracts is celebrating its 15th birthday this month. So happy birthday from all of us at the Leasing Broker Federation!
So how did it all start?
Back in 2002, following a meeting in a local restaurant, five young entrepreneurs decided to start their own leasing brokerage. Based in a small office on an industrial estate in Hazel Grove, Manchester, they began the ‘hit or miss’ process of faxing leasing offers into the market.
The real breakthrough came several years later when they decided to make the “significant” investment of £10,000 in developing a website as their channel to market.
This was the breakthrough that provided the momentum and phenomenal growth that has established Nationwide as the largest leasing broker, by volume, in the UK today.
Soon afterwards the business moved to the top floor of Broadstone Mill in Reddish near Stockport, but continued expansion, and a lift that kept breaking down, necessitated the purchase of a brand new office near Didsbury to the south west of Manchester. Today the Nationwide team consists of 80 people with four of the founding directors continuing to work within the business.
Much has changed over the past 15 years. Continued investment and innovation of the website now generates over 6 million individual visits per annum. Customers can access detailed vehicle data and information, comparison, and quotation tools and even complete their own finance applications in the comfort of their own homes.
The contract hire and personal contract hire market has expanded rapidly – Nationwide’s volume has grown by over 700% over the past ten years with over 62,000 contracts arranged since records began.
So what of the future? Mark Smith, managing director, said: “The business has changed immeasurably over the past 15 years. FCA compliance, developments in Internet technology, customer service demands, and many more ‘mouths to feed’ means that we have to keep the treadmill turning – this demands continued investment in systems, processes and of course in our people.
“This also presents different challenges than when we started the business 15 years ago, but we relish challenges and look forward to the next 15 years.
“Having said that, if it were not for our staff, our funder partners and suppliers we would not have succeeded therefore we would like to thank every one of you and look forward to sharing in our continued success into the future.”