Fiat Auto’s plans to increase its dealer representation in the London area moved forward this week, as Fiat Auto (UK) appointed Thames Motor Group as a Fiat main dealer in Croydon.
This appointment marks the return of Thames to the south London area, and to celebrate, the Group held a special Christmas launch party for 400 guests, with Kiss FM DJ Freddie Morrison as compere.
Party-goers were invited to give a discretional donation to Capital Radio’s Help a London Child Christmas appeal, and the money raised during the evening amounted to almost £500.
In addition, Thames Motor Group has supplied Capital Radio with a Fiat Ducato van and driver throughout the month of December, to help distribute Christmas presents to needy children in London.
For its part, Legoland, with which Fiat Auto (UK) is associated, donated hundreds of free child admission passes to LEGOLAND Windsor, and a Christmas gift for all the children present.
Guests had their invitations entered into a grand draw which featured a new Fiat Punto Sporting Speedgear – donated by Thames Motor Group and Fiat Auto (UK) – as the star prize.
Neal Ardley of Watford Football Club drew the winning ticket, which belonged to Mrs Vidya Dines of Sanderson, Croydon, who later received her prize from Massimo Toso, managing director, Fiat Auto (UK), together with Sanjay Sobte, director, Thames Motor Group, and Neil Harrington, dealer principal, Thames Croydon.
Thames Motor Group’s first Fiat dealership was opened in Bromley in 1986, followed by another in Croydon in 1987. Sanjay Sobte, nephew of the Group’s founder and chairman, Vipen Khanna, took over at Croydon in 1990, when he was just 22 years old.
Thames Motor Group assumed control of Fiat High Wycombe in September 1996, along with another Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealership in Tunbridge Wells two years later.
In 2001, a brand new purpose-built Fiat dealership opened in Slough, and despite less than two years’ trading, its sustained success was recognised 10 days ago by the award of Regional Dealership of the Year 2002 at this year’s Fiat dealer conference in Birmingham.
Next month, Sanjay is to take on another new Fiat dealership at 121 Canterbury Road, Croydon. This will be by far the biggest outlet in the Group, and looks set to make Thames Motor Group one of the most successful retail Fiat dealership groups in the UK.
Commenting on Wednesday night’s Christmas party in Croydon, Sanjay, says: “We’re absolutely delighted with the response from our customers, and the support from Fiat Auto (UK), who together helped make the evening a huge success. In particular, I would like to thank all the staff at Thames, who have put in a great deal of effort in a short period of time to ensure the successful launch of our dealership on 2 January 2003.”
Colin Keir, dealer development director, Fiat Auto (UK), says: “We are delighted to welcome Thames Motor Group back to Croydon as part of their further expansion with Fiat Auto. I am confident that they will maintain their high level of customer satisfaction in all areas, and I know our existing customers in the area will also welcome their return to Croydon.”Published 21 December 2002