Located at Abram near Wigan, Heatons Motor Company is a specialist supplier of secondhand minibuses, particularly accessible ones, covering the whole of the market from eight up to 33 seats, with the occasional excursion into the 53 and 70-seat coach markets if something that offers customers a good deal comes along. Heatons have a reputation for providing customers with that rare combination of good quality products, competitive prices and friendly reliable service and recent investment at the site will make the buying experience an even more positive one for people visiting the showrooms at 53 Bickershaw Lane.
Proprietor, Wayne Heaton has been at the helm for over 30 years and the company can trace its origins back to 1965. Always professional in his approach, he began as an apprentice at S&W Commercials, an HGV commercial repair and haulage company, and shudders when he thinks of the hours put in working on Bedford CFs. This was followed by three years on a technical course at Bolton that earned him a Diploma in Motor Engineering. He is a Member of the Institute of the Motor Industry (MIMI) and an Associate Member of the IRTE. As a result he has a thorough grounding with a list of qualifications so long that he struggles to remember them all. His wife Judith is the Company Secretary and in total there are currently nine full time employees, including two mechanics, two valeters and two painters.
Wayne’s right hand man, and often the person customers will speak to when they ring in, is Philip Broadhurst. He started with the business making the tea at the age of 14, and is still there now that he is 47.
Home to Heatons for 32 years, the site was previously a British Leyland car dealership and has a main road frontage with three interconnected buildings incorporating a showroom, offices and workshops and a tarmac yard that slopes slightly down hill. Kept tidy at all times, it has been developed over the years with a warehouse building erected at the bottom of the yard. The latest investment has seen the existing accommodation, which was in several sections, rebuilt so that all of the display areas are now fully interconnected. They now offer a modern and attractive environment in which vehicles can be inspected. They are capable of housing ten or more vehicles, rather more than could previously be shown. At the same time the office accommodation has been completely upgraded and what was once a small sales office with restricted views across the showroom is now a large glass fronted office with a direct view of the vehicles and any customers who call in. The exterior has been completely reclad, a new floor laid, there has been extensive retiling and the roof replaced as part of an investment that has cost around £150,000 with Wayne doing the project management work. Otherwise it might easily have cost double that to accomplish.
Now that all of the work with the exception of a small area of resurfacing, some tiling and the erection of some safety railings, have been completed, the premises project an extremely positive image. In truth they looked very professional before but the appearance has been further enhanced. Philip commented, ‘it instills confidence in those who haven’t dealt with us before and are visiting for the first time.