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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Dobies car firm moves its focus to West Cumbria

Cumbrian car dealership Dobies has sold its Carlisle business to focus on West Cumbria – including setting up its own insurance company.

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CONCENTRATE: Businessman Bill Dobie

Dobies Cumbria Group has sold the Vauxhall and Seat franchises that made up Dobies (Carlisle) Limited to Bristol Street Motors.

Bill Dobie, senior partner of Dobies Cumbria, said: “I am now looking to concentrate our efforts in West Cumbria through our garages at Workington to serve our customers better and grow our presence in the same area we started in 40 years ago.”

The company will focus on its Vauxhall and Peugeot franchises at Lillyhall, and plans to expand its property business and develop its financial services.

Mr Dobie expects to launch the insurance business in the autumn.

Dobies began in 1967 as a small village garage in Dearham before moving to Ellenborough, Maryport, in 1973.

In 1976 it started selling Fiat cars, followed by Vauxhall in 1980.

In that year it moved to Risehow in Maryport.

Two years later the firm built the Washington Central Hotel and an attached Vauxhall showroom in Workington.

In 2002 the company expanded its car sales business to Carlisle and the following year moved its Maryport operations to Lillyhall.

Its franchises there now sell about 1,000 new and used cars a year.

The Washington Central Hotel has been extended twice since it was built and the showroom has been converted into leisure facilities.

The company has planning permission for a multi-level car park and roof garden behind the hotel.

Mr Dobie said he hoped that building work would start by early March and the roof garden would be ready to open for Guy Fawkes Night.

The financial side of Dobies began with contract hire for cars and vans.

It has since developed into mortgages and commercial loans and retail finance.

Mr Dobie, of Stainburn Road, Workington, runs the firm along with his daughters Emma Dobie and Sarah Newton and sister Sylvia Alderson.

He said: “I would hope we can further enhance the experience of our customers.

“I would like to thank all our customers and staff from the Carlisle garages for their support over the last 11 years.

“I do believe that Bristol Street Motors will be excellent custodians of the business moving forward.”

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