Alan Thompson to lead a 50-strong team at £8m JLR Belfast base as Charles Hurst Group marks the signature showroom’s first anniversary
Charles Hurst Group, Northern Ireland’s biggest car retailer, has appointed company stalwart Alan Thompson as Head of Business at its signature £8 million Jaguar and Land Rover base.
Thompson, who joined Charles Hurst in 2005 as franchise manager for Nissan across multiple sites, joins the Jaguar Land Rover team almost a year after the company first opened the impressive 40,000 sq. ft. luxury showroom.
Since then, more than 20 new roles have been created at the premium franchise across technical, sales and management areas in what is now among the UK and Ireland’s top-performing Jaguar Land Rover showrooms.
Charles Hurst Group operations director, Colin McNab, said:
“I’m delighted to confirm Alan’s appointment to the top team at Jaguar Land Rover Belfast. A true leader with a warm and welcoming personality, I believe that his passion and commitment for this outstanding premium brand, along with his experience and capability, will continue to develop our strength within the industry and our priority to ensure unrivalled customer service and care.”
Queen’s University Belfast graduate Thompson, who is from Ballyclare, started his motor industry career in 1986, joining Savills Vauxhall as part of a management fast-track programme before progressing to business manager within 10 years.
In 2005, Alan moved to the role of Franchise Manager at Charles Hurst Nissan, overseeing the strategic development of the business across sites in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Newtownards and managing a team of over 60 staff.
Alan Thompson said:
“Jaguar Land Rover is an exciting, forward-looking and ambitious brand and I’m excited about the possibilities ahead. The investment made to date by Charles Hurst in the site, and in our people, reflects the huge strength of our commitment to these world-class, innovative brands and our pledge to provide the very best for our customers and staff.”
The new JLR showroom was the first to be opened in Northern Ireland as a key part of the brand’s £16 million UK-wide retailer initiative announced in 2017 and which features the JLR signature ‘Arch’ concept, housing both brands under one roof.
Boasting a modern, light and spacious interior with sumptuous lounge areas for customers to relax in, it also includes a fully staffed barista bar, kids play zone, daily newspapers and complimentary WiFi.
The company, which produces the Jaguar XJ, XF, XE, F-Type and the all-electric I-Pace model, as well as a range of top-selling Land Rover models across a range of budgets, is already focused on the development of driverless cars that will reshape the entire motor industry.
JLR, which has been endorsed by a wide range of well-known brand ambassadors, including Bear Grylls, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Saunders, earlier this month confirmed it is investing hundreds of millions of pounds to build a range of innovative electric vehicles at its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham.
Part of the Lookers Group, Charles Hurst is the north’s largest motor retailer, representing 20 brands across seven sites including its 20-acre Belfast headquarters, the largest automotive park in Europe.