Prohibitively expensive manufacturer expansion plans force its longest serving, Royal Warranted, dealership to close.
R A Creamer & Son Royal associations
A Jaguar Dealer which has served the Royal Family for 40 years is to close as the manufacturer's expansion plan has “created a problem”, Principle Michael Quinn said. R A Creamer & Son – which is based near Kensington Palace and started in 1927 – has provided and maintained cars for the Queen, Queen Mother and Prince Charles.
The catalyst for closure is that the manufacturer now requires authorised dealerships to meet new standards so they continue to meet customers' expectations. For R A Creamer & Son, a wide range of prohibitively expensive work is necessary to meet such criteria.
A Jaguar spokesman said: “Over recent years Jaguar has totally overhauled its car range with the launch of class-leading new models like the XE sports saloon, XF executive saloon, F-TYPE sports car and the recently revealed F-PACE performance crossover.”
“Jaguar sales are increasing (and) as a result and we are asking all authorised Jaguar centres to upgrade their facilities to cope with increased customer interest", the manufacture spokesman added.
Mr Quinn – grandson of Jaguar Co-Founder William Lions - confirmed: "The majority of dealers have been expected to invest considerably and upgrade their businesses to improve capacity, professionalism and appearance. This involves great financial investment and property expansion (that) would have required us to move location.”
He added: "These factors would have added genuine complications to our business and the decision was taken not to embark on an expansion which might risk our ability to care for our employees.”
“Frankly, our customers told us they did not want it and liked the fact that we were a unique, customer focused, almost old-fashioned firm", he suggested.
Mr Quinn told his clients: “In my last correspondence in January 2016, I stated that our business was unlikely to continue to operate beyond the end of 2016 and could well be earlier than that.”
“This is due in no small part to the changes in our business that we have been forced to face which have challenged us in a way that we now feel that we cannot sustain the current business model, or rationalise the level of investment required”, Mr Quinn concluded.
R A Creamer & Son now loses its Royal Warrants that are a mark of recognition for companies that supply goods or services to senior members of the Royal Family for an extended period (and have an ongoing relationship). Mr Quinn conceded: “It’s sad to hand back the Royal Warrants, but we are proud to have had that association.”