The supercar market in the region shows no signs of slowing according to an entrepreneur who has opened a “one stop shop” in the heart of Birmingham selling the kind of cars most people can only dream of owning.
Located opposite Selfridges’ store on Park Street, the Torque Project’s showroom could hardly be more central and the man behind the venture has high hopes it will become just as well known as the landmark building.
“We will have every kind of supercar you can think of – some of the best cars on the planet,” said Eamon Gaughan of the showroom which opened for business this week with a line-up of cars worth around £2 million.
“People are still buying supercars, which is why we are selling them and it is easier for us to sell at the high end of the market rather than the mid-market. We have certainly found the market to be buoyant.”
The new outlet will be staffed primarily by former Lamborghini and Bentley staff and would-be buyers can snap up all manner of expensive metal from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley to more exclusive marques like McLaren, Bugatti and Zonda. More pedestrian offerings include the Nissan GT-R which lays claim to the title of the fastest accelerating production car.
Mr Gaughan, who is also founder and CEO of Birmingham-based JEEG Global Group, said the location was perfect to take the business to the next level as it was already selling supercars at a rate oif three a week without a permanent base.
“You can’t find anywhere else, with the exception of Mayfair, where you’ve got a shopping centre next to a showroom like this,” he said. “It is directly opposite Selfridges, an iconic building and absolutely ideal for what we wanted to do.
“Supercar dealers are usually based out on industrial estates or on the outskirts of town. It’s a total change but ideally suited for what we want.
“We always wanted to be in Birmingham and the West Midlands, somewhere we feel is under-served for the product we have got.
“The majority of customers we have had are from Birmingham and the West Midlands and they are not well served. There’s nowhere people can go that’s a one stop shop for a supercar.”
Mr Gaughan said he was aiming to offer a different service to the supercar franchised dealerships that already operate in the Midlands, as well as avoiding lengthy waiting lists.
“The stockholding we have got we buy purely for selection,” he added. “For example you wouldn’t be able to go to a Ferrari dealership and buy a Lamborghini or go into a Bentley dealership and buy a Rolls Royce.
“We have got rid of all the constraints of a franchised dealer. It’s totally different, the way it is presented, the product offering and hopefully service levels are far more personal.
“We’ll have a mixture of new and used cars that are incredibly hard to get hold of and more mainstream supercars as well, pretty much anything between £100,000 and £350,000. We are probably one of only two dealers in the country that has got two Ferrari 458s.”
Mr Gaughan, who said the firm also had long-term plans to open in both Manchester and London, set up the venture because he himself was a frustrated supercar buyer who wanted more choice.
He said: “I have bought supercars for the last five years. When I wanted to buy a new car I’ve never been able to find a place to go where a selection of what’s actually available was there. There wasn’t anywhere you could go and do that. I have been that person for the last four or five years and that is why I wanted to get into this.”
The Torque Project will have between 12 and 14 fully prepped cars ready for sale in its 7,000 sq ft showroom, with a further five or six waiting in the wings.
And though it is clearly targeting those buyers on a big budget, it is also inviting curious non-buyers to come in to take a look around. The only thing asked for in return is a donation to its chosen charity, the Gentlemen’s Night Out.
“It’s a petrolhead’s dream to see all these cars – like a motor show – so we’re going to be letting people into our showroom on a viewing basis, even if they’re not in a position to be able to buy one,” said Mr Gaughan. “It seemed like the natural thing to do.”
Mr Gaughan said he expects to sell around 150 cars in the first year and added: “The showroom opening is a passion turned to reality for me. It’s the most exciting business I have ever done and the perfect location too.”