Built on Heritage
At Evans Halshaw we can trace our heritage back to the 1920s and have been delivering the highest level of customer service since PJ Evans sold his first car.
Learn more about our journey through the decades and discover how we came from humble beginnings to then becoming one of the UK's leading automotive retailers.
1920s: The Partnership Begins
The partnership, which has grown into Evans Halshaw, started in 1927 when Bill Lyons, founder of Swallow Sidecar was looking for a Birmingham based dealer to sell his version of the Austin Seven.
PJ Evans was already an established and prospering dealership in the Midlands and was the perfect partner for Lyons. Together with Lyons’ prestige cars and Evans’ expertise they were able to offer a personalised and tailored service to their customers.
Unfortunately not long into the partnership, while flying back from the French Touring Car Grand Prix, Evans was tragically killed. As Evans' children were too young to take over the business, P J Evans was sold to rivals, Steeley and Rodway.
1930s: The Business Prospers
Throughout the 1930s, the business continued to flourish and was one of the largest dealers in the Midlands. Selling the leading brands of the day including Austin, Bean, Daimler, Fiat, Morris, Rover and Sunbeam, there seemed to be no stopping them.
1940s: Surviving the War
Like many motor dealers, PJ Evans was badly disrupted by the war. However, Rodway kept the business going by focusing on servicing and selling second hand cars. Throughout this difficult period, Rodway kept customer service at the heart of everything he did, building up a loyal customer base.
As a result of Rodway’s savvy business strategy, PJ Evans came through the war in a confident mood.
1950s to 1970s
1950s to 1970s: Acquisitions and Growth
As the business continued to grow, it acquired Rolls Royce and Bentley. This allowed the company to list its shares on the Birmingham Stock Exchange. With these prestige names behind the brand, PJ Evans prided itself on providing the highest of standards and customer service.
PJ Evans expanded rapidly with a number of smaller acquisitions. During this growth, would-be-buyers took an interest and eventually LCP: a small West Midlands Conglomerate whose main business was coal distribution, property and car seat manufacturing, backed the prospering dealership.
With this financial backing, PJ Evans were able to acquire its first Ford Dealership in 1977, with four more joining the group over the following two years.
The growing success was being built through the company’s core dedication to customer service, selling quality new and used cars, and keeping a focus upon after sales. They had it all: customer satisfaction was their number one priority and it shows today at your local Evans Halshaw dealership.
1978 saw PJ Evans make its most lucrative purchase of the Halshaw Group: a private company that owned the Halifax Motor Company and Bradshaw's Motor House.
This promoted the change in name to Evans Halshaw, and the beginning of their meteoric rise to the top.
1980s: Expansion and New Partners
Evans Halshaw managed to dodge the early 1980s recession and continued to expand. Four further acquisitions in the 1980s included two Peugeot outlets.
Evans Halshaw then continued their expansion with the purchase of three more Ford dealerships and two Iveco truck dealerships. Throughout this difficult time Evans Halshaw continued to uphold its core customer service values.
Even through the recession Evans Halshaw continued to invest in training and development of their team members to ensure a high level of customer service to all customers was always provided. It was a gamble at the time; but through this continued development of staff, Evans Halshaw were able to offer unrivalled expertise in their field, and continue to do so today.
Despite the recession, Evans Halshaw continued to expand and was turning over in excess of £100 million a year.
The 1980s also saw Evans Halshaw part ways with LCP, and new financial backing from Barclays Development Capital, who acquired the business for £9 million in January 1985.
1990s: Becoming a Giant
Evans Halshaw continued to add to their portfolio with two more Peugeot businesses in 1996, and three more Ford franchises for £3.3 million. This meant they now operated 16 Ford dealerships across the country, the largest number in the country.
In 1999, Pendragon PLC acquired the Evans Halshaw group for £83.7 million (what a difference 14 years makes from £9 million to over £80 million), creating the largest automotive retailer in the UK.
Evans Halshaw continued to grow, benefitting from Pendragon's long term relationships with its manufacturers. Because of these relationships, Evans Halshaw are able to offer customers a professional and personal service.
2000 Onwards: Leading UK Retailer
Today, Evans Halshaw is one of the largest automotive retailers in the UK. The brand has national coverage with numerous dealerships located nationwide, and the company's aim has been the same now, as it has always been since it was founded: to be the number one choice for customers.
With a team of dedicated and experienced team members, there is always someone to look after your motoring needs. From the moment you walk through the door looking for a car, to the years you spend driving it, Evans Halshaw will continue to be there for you, our customers.
Discover more from Evans Halshaw
We take pride in our heritage, and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our retailers in the near future.
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