A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Mitsubishi dealership has celebrated 17 years of successful business with the timely launch of the new 17-registration.

Close Mitsubishi, on High Street, Corby, opened its doors and registered its first car on March 3, 2000 – a Mitsubishi Space Star.

Originally opening with Dealer Principal Simon Close and one more member of showroom staff to assist him, Close Mitsubishi now has an experienced team of 16 that can cater for every requirement of new and existing Mitsubishi owners.

The dealership has been on the same site for its entire 17-year history, the facility also including a fully equipped workshop for servicing, repairs and MOT testing, while the grounds even include a neighbouring cottage complete with a tearoom for customers.

A family-run business, the Close group can trace its roots back to the 1940s when Simon’s grandfather, Donald, opened his first garage. With support from his parents, Jane and Robert, Simon established Close Mitsubishi and expanded the group last year with the purchase of a second Mitsubishi dealership in Peterborough. Craig Close, Simon’s brother, is Parts Manager at the Peterborough site and has worked with the Mitsubishi brand and the Corby dealership for the last 12 years, including completing a technician apprenticeship.

Simon, who began his motoring career as a mechanic before taking on a sales apprenticeship and acquiring the Corby site, said: “We’ve undergone many changes over the years in terms of our own expansion but also sharing in the exciting growth and development of the Mitsubishi brand.

“Things have changed beyond belief and when we started out we would never have thought that one day we would be offering cars with hybrid technology. The range has come on massively in the last few years and we now have a modern, advanced product range that has something for all types of motorists.”

Simon continued: “While much has changed though, we’re delighted to still serve customers who have been with us for the entire 17 years and customer service has and always will be the most important thing to us.”