Winchester Motor Group comprises of Winchester Motor Company, Garland Motors, Aldershot Used Car Centre and Solent Used Car Centre. As a family owned business we focus on customer service and value for money. We are a family dealership that cares with over 50 years experience. This section covers a little bit about us, our history, who works here, the latest news, what our customers have said about us and current vacancies and opportunities.
Winchester Motor Group is delighted to be celebrating 54 years in business. This is a brief history and important dates as the company has grown that may be of interest.
1965 - In the beginning
Winchester Motor Company was founded in 1965 by ex-Fleet Airarm pilot Robert Mills-Goodlet and his wife Pam. The company has remained a family owned business ever since and now the business is run by Mark Mills-Goodlet. Having had the Volkswagen franchise since 1965 Winchester Motor Company is one of the longest serving Volkswagen agents in the country.
1970 - Bodyshop
Our Bodyshop has operated out of our site on St Cross Road in Winchester since the 1970’s. We carry out all sizes of repairs from major accident repairs to smart repairs which can be carried out while your car is being serviced with us. Our quality of work is second to none and that is why we repair luxury cars for a local exclusive car retailer repairing cars such as Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and Porsche.
2003 - The ŠKODA franchise
In 2003 whilst keeping the Volkswagen Authorised Repairer part of the business, the company dropped the Volkswagen Sales franchise and took on ŠKODA, a brand with huge potential. ŠKODA is the largest growing brand in the United Kingdom at this present time. Last year in the UK we could have sold 10,000 less cars and still have been the largest growing brand. ŠKODA ticks all the boxes with reliability, comfort, style and value for money, but the brand would be nothing without the care and attention that a retailer dedicates in making your purchase of a ŠKODA car an enjoyable experience.
2005 - Garland Motors Aldershot
In 2005 came the first acquisition as the company expanded into Aldershot with the purchase of Garland Motors on Waterloo Road. This was also a ŠKODA main dealership and gave us two ŠKODA sites within thirty miles of each other. Garland Motors was already an established business which helped.
2008 - ŠKODA Retailer of the Year
We are a family owned business and we do put the emphasis on customer satisfaction and the fact that we have been nominated for Skoda Retailer of the Year the last six years since winning it in 2008 shows that we really do put the customer first. If we do make a mistake then we put every effort into rectifying the situation.
2012 - A second site in Aldershot
With the success of the ŠKODA franchise we had begun to outgrow the site at Waterloo Road and with ŠKODA also requiring dealers to have larger showrooms, we purchased a major site on Ash Road to relocate ŠKODA. With a total refurbishment to exacting manufacturer standards, the site opened for business in the autumn of 2012.
2013 - Fleet Department
In 2013 Garland Motors embarked on the Skoda Fleet Program. Winchester Motor Group had carried out some fleet business in the past supplying various taxi companies, local businesses and Hampshire Police, but being part of the Skoda Fleet Program needed real investment in people and facilities. We now have a team of six dedicated to the needs of small local business and large national companies alike, also dealing with tax free sales and blue light sales. The department has grown from modest beginnings to supplying over 1000 cars per year.
2015 - Winchester Refurbishment
In late 2014 and completed in late March 2015, our Winchester location underwent a total refurbishment offering the very latest state of the art ŠKODA experience.
2017 - Launched Solent Used Car Centre
In September 2017, we launched our second used car dealership Solent Used Car Centre in Havant, Hampshire. Our used car dealership will focus on selling a variety of VW Group vehicles at the same time sticking to our core value which is a family dealership that cares.
2018 - Solent Service Centre
In 2017 we took on Solent Used Cars with the sole purpose of retailing our quality used part exchanges from there, however it soon became apparent that there was a requirement for us to enlarge the small workshop adjoining the sales forecourt. In 2018 we enlarged the workshop from one ramp to three ramps plus an MOT bay. This has enabled us to offer the local community an MOT facility and be able to offer good value servicing for their vehicles. We also use Solent as a PDI centre for our three used car sites.
2019 - Launched Petersfield Used Car Centre
In January 2019, we launched our third used car dealership Petersfield Used Car Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire. Our used car dealership will focus on selling a variety of VW Group vehicles at the same time sticking to our core value which is a family dealership that cares.
2019 - VWFS Rent-a-car
In 2019 Garland Motors teamed up with Volkswagen Financial Services to offer a rental car service in Aldershot. The rental car department runs a fleet of forty Skoda cars and operates out of our showroom in Aldershot, but cars can be collected at any of our other sites if booked in advance. Through the rental department we can offer a ‘try before you buy’ service where you can carry out an extended test drive on a car that you are interested in and receive a refund for the rental fee if you proceed to purchasing the vehicle.
2020 SKODA Retailer of the year
In 2020 Garland Motors finished 6th and Winchester 7th in Skoda’s Retailer of the Year awards ceremony. The top five retailers were from Scotland and Norther Ireland so we were extremely proud to finish as the top two performing Skoda retailers in England. Winchester was also nominated as New Car Retailer of the year and Garlands was nominated for Fleet Retailer of the Year.
Mark Mills-Goodlet - Managing Director