Mazda national sales manager Floyd Timms liked the company and products so much he decided to invest in the brand and bought Lodge Garage in Kingswood, Aylesbury. Mr Timms, 55, worked for Mazda UK for 13 years, rising through the ranks to lead the marque's team of business managers and has now demonstrated his faith in the brand by becoming a dealer himself.
In the process he has also become the first Mazda employee to set up his own Mazda dealership as a private individual.
"I had the option to look at other brands, but knowing what I know about Mazda as an insider it was the franchise of choice for me. They probably made me jump through a few more hoops than an outsider to secure the franchise, but I always felt that if the right opportunity came along I would go back into retail."
Mr Timms said that since the launch of the Mazda6 in 2002 - the car that revitalised the brand - Mazda has been a brand "in the ascendancy". He also feels that new small Mazda2 has done for Mazda what Yaris has done for Toyota and Jazz for Honda, bringing new, younger buyers to the brand.
He took over at Lodge on 1st September 2009, trading as Buckinghamshire Mazda Ltd. Lodge has been a Mazda dealership for 30 years but had failed to embrace modern retailing, he said.
Early indications are that the gamble will pay off. "September has been a record month for Lodge with 62 new cars sold and 12 used." Lodge's previous best was 40 new car sales in a month. It's an encouraging start and one of Mr Timms's aims is to strengthen the used car business, switching to an all-makes policy.
"Half of our business in the first month has been with customers new to Mazda and we also have very loyal customers who are coming to us. There are strong shoots of recovery."
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