Land Rover retailer revs up success and jobs in Rasen

Duckworth staff at Market Rasen Rugby Union club
Duckworth staff at Market Rasen Rugby Union club

A family-run Market Rasen business reports increasing sales and staff numbers as it achieves a major milestone.

Martin Duckworth Ltd was formed in the 1960s in Ingham near Lincoln and originally repaired vehicles and operated a break-down service for the AA and RAC.

Since many of the vehicles were Land Rovers, Martin developed a fondness and interest in them, leading the business to relocate to its current site on Willingham Road, and gain an official Land Rover franchise in 1980.

Marketing Director Sophie Duckworth said the business grew over the years and in 2008, it opened a dealership in Boston.

Since then, staff numbers have almost doubled from 63 to around 110 today, with plans to increase numbers by a further 10% in the coming months.

Sales have similarly increased, with Martin Duckworth Ltd reporting turnover in excess of £60 million a year, with it selling 2,000 new and used cars annually. Its workshops also service and repair 6,250 cars every year.

Such success led one Market Rasen businesswoman to declare the company one of the “unsung heroes” of Market Rasen, with its success showing there is actually money in and around the town.

Sophie Duckworth agrees, adding the firm is also one of just a handful of family-owned and run Land Rover dealerships in the country.

The business has won awards for customer service, with its Boston branch recently receiving After-Sales Service Centre of the Year 2014 out of all of Britain’s Land Rover dealers and second overall dealer of the year for 2014. Market Rasen is also a previous winner for such awards.

Such success stems from staff loyalty, with some staff being at the company for 20 years or more.

“We have taken on about six staff in the past 12 months and we want to increase it by 10% over the coming months. These jobs will be across the board from sales to mechanics, both in Boston and Market Rasen.”

Sophie also credits some of the growth on the new models which have been arriving since the company was first taken over by Ford and then Tata of India in 2008. New models have included the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Evoque and the new Discovery Sport.

Customers come from all over the country, with it delivering from Cornwall to Scotland.

“We have a very loyal following with some down in London who bring their vehicles up here to be serviced,” Sophie said.

Some 60-70% of buyers are in agriculture, with most sales from Lincolnshire.

“I don’t think the recession has hit our county as it has others but Land Rover is doing so well bringing out desirable vehicles,” she said.

Lincolnshire is also loyal to local firms and Martin Duckworth Ltd also supports local suppliers, in addition to sponsoring events in the county.

Next month, is the 35th anniversary of the dealership gaining its Land Rover franchise. No celebrations are planned yet. Instead, growth remains the focus, with the Rasen venture buying the land behind it for future expansion.