A classic sports car company has doubled the size of its headquarters after securing customers from far flung parts of the globe.
AH Spares in Southam, Warwickshire, has specialised in the manufacture and supply of spare parts for Austin Healey sports cars since the company was established by former Austin Healey parts manager Fred Draper in 1972.
Since then the company has become truly international with about 70 per cent of its customers based overseas in countries as far afield as the USA, Australia and South Africa.
Demand has been so great for spare parts from the company that it recently completed the purchase of the adjoining unit at its Kineton Road Industrial Estate base to provide the necessary extra storage capacity for the 330,000 items it stocks at any one time.
Bob Hill, managing director of AH Spares, which employs 25 people, said: “Trading on such an international scale definitely makes life interesting.
“We have customers coming into the shop from all over the world as well as contacting us through the internet.
“Despite the fact we trade on such a large scale we still consider ourselves a family business.
“My son is the general manager and my daughter is the marketing manager, and I think it’s that type of personal approach to business that builds trust and encourages customers to return.”
Aside from the solid family relations which have helped the business succeed - the company has enjoyed another successful relationship over the past 20 years with Coventry-based chartered accountant Spencer Gardner Dickins.
The company, based in Cheetah Road, has helped AH Spares with everything from financial advice and planning to payroll and tax guidance.
Mr Hill said: “A good accountant should be like a family doctor – you should always have a good relationship with them.
“You have got to get to know them and if they are good you stick with them.”
Paul Dickins, partner at Spencer Gardner Dickins, said he was delighted that the company had maintained such a close working relationship with AH Spares for over two decades.
He said: “Bearing in mind the tough times the automotive industry in the Midlands has faced in recent years it is fantastic to see a company of this ilk thriving in the region.
“We are delighted to have been able to support AH Spares over the past 20 years and we are looking forward to building further on our close working relationship with them.”