Successful local business the Hippo Motor Group has a long history and extensive experience in the motor trade and is committed to continually evolving to meet the needs of its customers, writes Gail Bailey. Photography: Roger Moore
Owner and Director of The Hippo Motor Group Tom Preston has not only a wealth of knowledge in the car industry but a long family lineage of motor trade experience: “My family were successful coal merchants but changed direction in 1960. They secured franchises and partnerships from some of the world’s top manufacturers such as Land Rover, BMW and MINI,” he says.
After selling these in 2007, and not wanting to work for anyone else, Tom used his passion for the motor trade to set up Hippo in Nelson, with just one member of staff.
Fast forward and Hippo Motor Group comprises a car sales, leasing and finance company that has gained a firm reputation for value and customer service. It has one of the fastest growing finance companies in the UK with over 300 staff, and selling over 10,000 cars per year.
Hippo Motor Group is a digitally driven car and finance company with a staunch commitment to excellent customer service and staff care.
“We have grown exponentially over the years by investing in our team, technology and on-site facilities,” Tom says.
The group has three companies that cover all motoring needs.
Car leasing through the Hippo Leasing brand offers over 5,000 of the very latest business and personal car leasing deals.
Hippo Motor Finance has a variety of finance options for good, or less than perfect credit, giving customers the ability to match their budget to a used car.
Hippo Approved, offers a great selection of used vehicles, all expertly prepared at the state-of-the-art Hippo Service Centre: “At Hippo Approved, we want nothing more than for you to drive away in your dream car,” Tom says. “We promise that our sales team are fuelled with practical advice and knowledge for you to find the car that fits your lifestyle.”
Recently rebranded from Hippo Prestige, Hippo Approved have repositioned themselves in the market with an even wider range of 1,000 vehicles and a broader range of price points. As Rebecca Marsden, Head of Sales, explains: “Having had the same branding for a number of years we were ready to refresh and re-establish ourselves at the forefront of the industry. We have diversified to not only offer the high-end high-performance cars we are recognised for, but with an even wider stock range we now supply vehicles for the whole family – from the top end to that very important first car!”
Tom adds: “Over the years we have developed and grown, gaining valuable experience within our trade. By using our industry-leading buying experience and fully trained finance personnel, supported by the best vehicle technicians, we can deliver a real main dealer experience with a competitive edge. All this makes us even more competitive and gives customers peace of mind that with the backing of our 300+ strong Hippo team we are able to provide the best deal, quality and service.”
The Hippo Motor Group is a nationwide company with a state-of-the-art showroom and vehicle preparation centre located in Blackburn, sales offices based within The Bloc complex in Manchester, as well as a large logistics site in Luton to enable customers further south to have somewhere accessible to collect their vehicles: “One of our core values is to ensure every single customer experience is the best it can be,” Rebecca explains.
Mark Khan, Head of Customer Experience, adds: “From our first ever chat through to delivery and aftercare, we pride ourselves on the important relationships that we maintain. Innovation and new ways of thinking are key to success, and so we are always actively listening to our employees and their ideas as well as gathering feedback from our customers.”
“Our service and process is built on the solid family foundations of trust, honesty and integrity,” Tom says. “Over the years, we have consistently achieved ‘Top Rated Dealer’ accolades from Autotrader and Car Gurus as well as multiple business awards for the way we operate. None of this is possible without the great staff we have, and I am proud to say many of whom have been with the company for over 15 years . This is further elevated by our numerous recognitions for being a premier employer within the North West region reflecting our commitment to employee wellbeing and professional development.”
Hippo Motor Group
Trident Park, Trident Way
Blackburn BB1 3NU