John Mulholland Motor Group
What town/city are you based in?
Number of generations
Number of employees
Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
John Mulholland Motor Group have been trading in Northern Ireland for over 27 years during which time we have built up a first class reputation for supplying ŠKODA, Ford and Hyundai vehicles whilst our Prestige and UFirst showrooms offer our customers, even more, choice and value.
With showrooms in 2 locations; Randalstown and the more recently established Campsie dealership in County Derry, our family run business has attracted customers from all over Ireland and the UK and is proud to offer excellent customer service combined with extremely competitive pricing to suit all budgets and lifestyles.
I started working in the motor trade 35 years ago before becoming a pioneering ŠKODA franchise dealer in 1990. This was a time before VW had acquired ŠKODA and some thought it foolish to invest in a brand which was the butt of many a joke but I could see the potential. Since then the brand has gone from strength to strength in parallel with our successful Hyundai and Ford dealerships.
In more recent years the business has expanded with sub-brands for used car sales and business contract hire and leasing. The directors of the business are myself John Mulholland, and my wife Alicia Mulholland. Of our 4 children, 3 have held various positions within the company, each getting a taste of every aspect of the business including; valeting, servicing, repair, accounts, sales and marketing. They need to learn the business and climb the ladder just like I had to. Then when I’m ready to retire they’ll have amassed the knowledge required to continue the family business. Although to be honest I don’t think I’ll ever retire – I love working too much! Our 4th child Anna is still at secondary school but she can’t wait to follow in her sibling’s footsteps.
What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
The romantic in me would say the day I met my wife. After all, without her, I wouldn’t have a family let alone a business.
On a professional level, however, I’d have to say it’s our recent success of winning the UK ŠKODA Retailer of the year award for our outstanding commitment to customer service. This is the second time we have won the award after our first triumph in 2014.
We are the only ŠKODA Retailer to have ever brought the award to Northern Ireland so to do it twice is an even bigger achievement. I cannot express how proud I am of our amazing staff, who were all part of this major achievement with their hard work and devotion to the job. And to our loyal customers who keep returning time and time again.
ŠKODA UK is the 4th largest global importer of new ŠKODA vehicles next to China, Germany and the Czech Republic so to be voted the number 1 ŠKODA Retailer in what is the 4th largest region globally is a simply stunning achievement.
We came top out of 126 other UK ŠKODA Retailers to clinch the title, so what’s the secret to our success? In one word it’s Family. And I’m not just saying that to score points. It’s an ethos I’ve tried to instal. We are a close family run business and we treat our staff and our customers like family too. And being family means we look after each other.
Customers are our lifeblood. Without customers, we don’t have a business so we work hard to provide value, choice and service in a friendly and professional manner. By doing this, long lasting relationships are formed and why we enjoy welcoming the same customers back again and again”. This may be our biggest achievement to date and we will celebrate but tomorrow we raise the bar and go again. UK ŠKODA Retailer of the year 2017 – Watch this space!
What do you love about being a family business?
Naturally, I love being my own boss and the flexibility and privilege that provides but deeper than that I’d say it’s the sense of community. Randalstown is a small country town in Northern Ireland. I grew up here, I know the people and it felt right to build my business here. As a business, we are of course ambitious and keen to grow and expand our reach but we will never forget about the customers we have on our doorstep.
I’ve sold cars to 3 generations of the same family here. Having customers come back time after time means you get to know them and their families and I think they like dealing with the familiarity of dealing with a family run business too. After all, trust seems in short supply when it comes to car sales – our family approach goes a long way to overcome this.