The Donnelly Group....65 Years On
Posted on: 23rd Nov 2012
This year sees the Donnelly Group, Northern Ireland’s largest independent new and used vehicle dealership, celebrate its 65th year in business.
1947 saw the Group establish its first site in Caledon, County Tyrone, opening a vehicle repair and taxi service. 65 years on and the Donnelly Group now has 7 sites across Northern Ireland and a total of 18 manufacturers.
However, this is most certainly not the Group’s final destination. Speaking to Raymond Donnelly, Director of the Donnelly Group, it is evident the Group still has plenty in store for the next 65 years!
“As a Group, we have come a long way since my father, Peter Donnelly, opened our first site in Caledon.
“We now have seven sites across Northern Ireland: Boucher Road - Belfast, Ballymena, Eglinton, Enniskillen, Mallusk and 2 in Dungannon. In the early days of the company we just sold cars, but recent years have seen us develop our range of products and services to cater for every motoring individual in Northern Ireland, and further afield in some cases.”
Raymond is referring to the company’s push into new areas including Donnelly Finance and Leasing, Tyres, Servicing and Parts, Conversions, Electric Vehicles and Commercial Vehicles.
Looking back at the company’s history, Raymond continues:
“Some things have obviously changed since 1947, but some things haven’t and most certainly never will at the Donnelly Group.
“My father built the company on the ethos of customer service and keeping the customer central to everything we do. 65 years on and this is still evident at every site, within every employee. The trust the motoring public has within the Group means all our customers can buy in confidence and receive the highest level of customer service and support from us.
“Not only that, but some of the faces at our sites never change either! We currently have 550 staff, making us one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, and many of them have been with us for 40 years or more.”
Raymond explains that the high levels of training and professional development provided within the Group results in focused and committed employees.
“We’re extremely lucky to have such a dedicated workforce with expertise across all fields. In various areas of the business across the group we take on apprentices who work with our experienced professionals to develop their own skills. There are superb opportunities for career development within the Group and many senior members of the team have worked their way through the ranks.”
Currently selling more than 15,000 vehicles a year, new and used, Raymond details the benefits of purchasing a used car from the Donnelly Group.
“At any one time, we have thousands of used vehicles available across all our sites. If a customer isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for, our Sales teams will point them in the right direction and lend their advice until they have found the perfect addition to their driveway.
“Equally, if a customer does know exactly what they’re looking for we’ll do our best to find that too!
“We have added a special ‘Used Car’ function to our website – www.donnellygroup.co.uk – to help customers find the vehicle right for them. Customers can browse all our available used cars by price, colour, location or manufacturer to find the car best suited to their needs.
“Not only will we find customers with the car that they want, but the great affordability across the group, whether it be on new cars, lightly used cars or commercial vehicles, provides customers with a large selection to suit any budget.
“In short, whatever you want, we’ll get it!”