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The BIG Journey

At Big Motoring World, we're extremely proud of our history and heritage.
From humble beginnings trading from a small 20-car pitch, to being listed as a UK top 10 dealer with over 650 members of staff, our expansion was only ever achieved by putting our customers first. Across the years, our customers have continued to come back to us time and time again and we’ve been fortunate enough to expand our business across the UK.
Life started for Big Motoring World in the Kentish village of Teynham. Our CEO, Peter Waddell, began trading from home before eventually buying Teynham Trade Centre. Peter moved into the flat above the neighbouring hairdresser’s shop with his young-family and even resorted to using his own garage as a workshop. With just 20 cars on display, the operation was small, but growth was destined.
The first glimmer of expansion happened just over a decade after with the opening of a new dealership in Bapchild, near Sittingbourne in Kent. The staff at the original Teynham site were relocated and the headcount increased to ten. Trading under the name “Bapchild Motoring World”, the premises included a showroom and workshop at the rear and display space to showcase 60 cars.
A second, smaller 20-car branch was then opened in 2001 in the east Kent town of Folkestone, giving further coverage across the county. Folkestone Motoring World was operated by three members of staff.
The following year, we acquired another site in Teynham – the village where the Big story originally began. This branch was at the time the second largest in our group’s portfolio, with 45-cars on display. “Teynham Motoring Centre” as it was known was operated by seven employees. At this point, we stocked 130 cars across our three Kent-based branches.
Seeing the benefit of being able to offer more choice from one location, we decided to consolidate our three Kent branches onto a single location in West Malling, Kent. We rebranded as “Big Motoring World”; the new name perfectly encapsulated our CEO’s ambition to create something that was, like himself, larger-than-life. With fifteen staff members employed, West Malling originally had space for 150 cars.
At this point, Big Motoring World became renowned in the South East for stocking used BMW cars, however our CEO strived to become the largest independent BMW dealership in the country. To help achieve this, we acquired the café next door and increased our stock display at West Malling to 350 cars. Our workforce grew too, with fifty staff members supporting the operation.
Set on our ambition to be the UK’s largest independent BMW dealership, we acquired further land neighbouring our West Malling premises and increased our display area to 650 cars. The group at this point employed 100 employees across various departments including sales, aftersales and customer-care.
Though the country was in the middle of a recession, we pressed ahead with our growth plan and acquired another site to support the West Malling operation. The acquisition of our state-of-the-art dedicated collection centre in Snodland was a pioneering move in the automotive industry. Preparation of our new stock was relocated to this enhanced workshop facility too, enabling us to increase the display space at West Malling further.
Following the relocation of our collection and service department to the new Snodland facility, West Malling underwent a further expansion that increased the display space by an additional 100 cars, to 750 vehicles. At this point, we employed 200 members of staff.
We acquired 21-acres of land at Blue Bell Hill, the location that would eventually become our flagship dealership. At this point in time, we were using just 2 acres displaying Audi and Volkswagen cars while the site was being developed. Blue Bell Hill, when completed, would hold capacity to stock up to 1,000 cars.
The development of our flagship Blue Bell Hill dealership completes and our group staff count increases to 300 to fully support the operation. Blue Bell Hill stocks predominantly BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz stock.
With the group stock now sitting at up to 3,000 cars, our Snodland Aftersales and Collection Centre is soon overworked and so we opened a brand new 10 acre national vehicle preparation centre in Peterborough. Our preparation centre is equipped with over 100 vehicle ramps, 10 MOT bays and 3 photography studios. Peterborough can process up to 6,000 cars a month.
Looking to achieve coverage across North London, we launched a brand new 800-car supermarket in Enfield, just ahead of the global pandemic. Our Enfield dealership gave us access to new market areas and further coverage across London.
We acquired the premises of SW Car Supermarket’s two car supermarkets in Peterborough and brought two new dealerships into the group – Peterborough Werrington and Peterborough Fengate. Peterborough Fengate remains closed until 2022 while extensive refurbishment works are carried out. Following this latest expansion, our staff count increased to 650.
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Why BIG?
We’re called Big Motoring World for a reason. It’s because we don’t do things by halves. We do everything we can to make it all about our customers and their experience.
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