There Is No Substitute
Porsche has long been famed for manufacturing some of the most exquisite cars on the road. The renowned Porsche slogan really says it all, writes Daniel Agnew. Photography: Mark Tattersall
According to Porsche enthusiast Chris Gateley, there is also no substitute when it comes to looking after the high-performance German supercars. Precisely why Chris, who has enjoyed driving the 911 range for years, has now turned his hand to caring for (sorry servicing) Porsche vehicles at the very garage where he was once a customer for close on a decade.
The 56-year-old bought the well-established Jasmine PorschaLink, based on Lomeshaye Industrial Estate in Nelson, last May. Chris plans to change and grow the business whilst continuing to deliver the exceptional customer service that Jasmine PorschaLink has built its brand on.
“When I was a customer, they always took tremendous care of my vehicles and that was very important to me,” said Chris, the passion for Porsche quite clear. “I saw potential to really propel the business to a new level.”
“We have invested in state-of-the-art equipment and refreshing the brand, whilst retaining the core values of customer service.”
That not insignificant investment has seen Chris and his team add a four-poster ramp to their pristine, almost showroom-like garage, new valet equipment, 3-D four wheel alignment set up geometry sets and a full up-to-date diagnostic kit.
While specialising in the servicing of classic and modern Porsches, the sale of new and used parts and selective car sales, Jasmine PorschaLink occasionally turn its engineering skills to the intricate needs of other sports cars including Ferraris and Corvettes.
It has rebuilt a Lamborghini Diablo and refitted the driver’s cabin of a classic Mercedes 190SL. A current project is the restoration of a rare Porsche 930 Turbo.
From outside, you would not expect the scale of the business. A short walk through and reception opens into a genuine treasure trove of dazzling, six-figure automobiles receiving some expert TLC.
Alongside specialist servicing and repairs, Jasmine PorschaLink has extensive stocks of new and used parts and wheels for all Porsche models.
Now the driving force behind the business, Chris and general manager Jonathan Higham are both keen to build on the garage’s growing reputation.
“Customers travel from far and wide to bring their cars here. That is very satisfying and we value the trust people place in us,” added Chris. “Porsche owners know and love their cars. We give them a more involved experience here that you maybe wouldn’t get from a dealership or normal non specialist garage. We talk customers through the process and even encourage them to have a look around their car and the work that needs doing. They don’t often see their car up on the ramp.”
“We have also transformed one of the rooms into a comfortable waiting area, decorated with some impressive artwork of Porsche’s. We have now started offering vehicle collection for those who may not have the time to come to us or want to avoid putting unnecessary miles on the Porsche’s clock.”
“Going that extra mile is what keeps people coming back. Our customers always get more than they bargained for, such as little fixes or cleaning the areas of the car you can’t normally reach on a Sunday wash, and it’s all part of the service with no extra cost.”
“We have specialist technicians in-house and their attention to detail is phenomenal. The team are engineer trained and have the confidence to take on any job no matter the size and complexity.”
Whilst the business has always primarily focused on Porsche sports cars, the popularity of the wider Porsche 4×4 range, such as the Cayenne, Macan and the luxurious Panamera, has seen the business broaden its horizons.
“Drivers of these family-friendly Porsche cars understand that their car is an expensive, high performance vehicle and it must be looked after, not only to maintain its performance but also its value. Proper servicing by Porsche-trained technicians and independent service stamps help performance and valuations. We don’t want people to think we only look after the classic sports cars. Our new equipment now allows us to accommodate the larger cars in the Porsche range.”
“Many of the Porsche sports cars get put away for the winter, however the larger range are on the road all year long so we are keen to reach out to a new audience. Some of the Porsches we see are extremely valuable – up to £250,000 – and owners want to retain that value. Professional and expert servicing is key to this and that’s what we pride ourselves on.”
“I know through experience as a long-time customer myself that the car physically feels better after our servicing. You really can feel the difference.”
Is it all torque? Apparently not.
The facts are that close on 500 customers have passed through the doors in the last 12 months – a clear sign, if any were needed, that Chris is more than justified in forecasting a double turnover within the next year.
Nelson BB9 6RY