Grange Welwyn: Reaching the summit
PUBLISHED: 12:43 11 August 2010 | UPDATED: 14:57 20 February 2013
Adrian Foster discovers how Grange Welwyn makes car buying an enjoyable experience
NESTLING in the leafy suburbs of Welwyn just around the corner from picturesque Stanborough Lakes you will find Grange Welwyn, one of the most innovative and successful prestige car dealerships in the UK.
A recent floor-to-ceiling refurbishment of the adjacent Aston Martin and Jaguar showrooms and workshops, plus a new, customer-focused approach instigated by dealer principal Paul Barratt, have all helped to bring the once sleepy garage into the 21st century.
'We wanted to create a bright, customer-focused environment which customers would enjoy and we needed the right people in the right jobs to deliver that experience,' explains Paul. 'Aston Martin has changed considerably over the years and Jaguar is poised for a gigantic leap forward in terms of new models with a new, younger customer profile. The Jaguar dealership now has a five-car showroom, with all the latest models including the latest XJ, the XK sports coup and the current S-Type.'
Grange Welwyn is especially happy to show visitors round its immaculate 12-bay workshop and takes pride in having more service loan cars available to customers than anywhere else in the UK and of being the only one with an Aston Martin V8 as a service loan car.
'It is very important that our customers enjoy the Grange Welwyn experience, so once we have attracted them into our showroom there are number of things we do differently to make purchasing a car more enjoyable,' continues Paul. 'With Aston Martin typically you can wait six to 12 months before seeing your new car, so we've developed 'glide path' - a process of consistent contact with a customer from the day of order to the point of delivery.
'That means before one even takes delivery of a car we do things like taking them out to dinner, sending them regular communication updates even offering polo lessons at a local polo club. So we aim to make buying a car from Grange Welwyn as memorable as possible for all the right reasons.'
As well as the new 'Bond car' the Aston Martin DBS, there are exciting new Jaguar models on the way, including a face-lifted X-Type due in the first quarter of next year. 'The really good news is that for the first time the new X-Type will have an automatic gearbox on the diesel-engined version, which is the car the majority of X-Type customers always wanted to buy but were unable to. Manual gearboxes aren't popular with Jaguar owners in and around Watford. They prefer economical, low-emission diesel-engined cars with automatic gearboxes,' Paul concludes.
Not to be missed is the Grange Aston Martin test drive experience, which offers prospective customers the opportunity to get to know the car over a pre-planned test drive route around the scenic back roads of Hertfordshire. This includes a short break en route at the Hanbury Manor Golf and Country Club, where the fortunate driver can relax and discuss their experience with a Grange sales specialist in comfort, before continuing the test drive back to the showroom.
Article taken from December issue of Hertfordshire Life