Colin Appleyard moves into higher gear by buying Nissan Keighley

Tuesday 16th April 2013

Motorcycle and car dealer Colin Appleyard has significantly increased its investment in its home town by buying franchise Nissan Keighley from Bradford-based Co-Operative Motor Group.

The acquisition, in Keighley’s Worth Way, which has been secured for an undisclosed sum, is the buyer’s first franchise selling output from the world’s sixth-largest car manufacturer.

Colin Appleyard already operates Suzuki dealership Keighley Cars in Halifax Road, where its head office is located, and Keighley Bikes, in Wellington Road, one of the UK’s leading independent multi-franchise motorcycle centres.

Nissan Keighley has been operating since 1996 and 12 of its 13 staff have been transferred to the new owners, with the other employee having opted for voluntary redundancy.

A team from Yorkshire law firm Gordons, led by commercial property partner Paul Young, employment partner Philip Paget and corporate solicitor Duncan Firman, advised Colin Appleyard on the transaction, which included the acquisition of the Nissan Keighley freehold site.

Robin Appleyard, managing director, Colin Appleyard, said: “The deal represents a significant expansion of our business and considerable evidence of our continued faith in Keighley’s future. We’re already the UK’s number one exclusive Suzuki dealer, as well as the brand’s longest-established British car and 4×4 main retailer, and have just had a record quarter selling that company’s products. We’re now looking forward to becoming a successful Nissan franchise holder too.

“We’ve used Gordons for about 15 years now and again they impressed us with their speed and commercially-focused approach.”

Colin Appleyard, founded during 1971, now sells new and used motorcycles and cars, plus associated parts, accessories and clothing. In addition to its sites in Keighley, the company has car and 4×4 dealerships in Shipley, Huddersfield and Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. The organisation, which currently employs over 120 people overall, was the first UK dealer to win the coveted Motor Cycle News Dealer of the Year award twice.

Gordons’ Paul Young said: “It was a pleasure to advise a long-standing client on a key strategic acquisition for its business. We now wish Colin Appleyard every success with its diversification into becoming a Nissan dealer.”

One of the UK’s most successful law firms, with offices in Leeds and Bradford, Gordons has been established for over 168 years, currently employs 280 people and has a turnover of over £25m.  Gordons’ excellence was recognised in a number of award schemes during 2012:

  • Business of the Year in the £10m to £50m category in the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards
  • Private Client Team of the Year and Managing Partner of the Year in the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards
  • UK and Ireland Regional Team of the Year in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Private Client Awards
  • Property Law Firm of the Year in the Yorkshire Property Industry Awards
  • Runner-up in the Regional Law Firm of the Year category of the Lawyer Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Excellence in Community Investment category of the Law Society Excellence Awards.

Clients include Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, construction and high performance materials manufacturer Saint Gobain, international brewers Molson Coors, greetings card retailer Card Factory and the world’s largest electrical heating business Glen Dimplex. For more information visit