First-ever showroom keeps family van business in fast lane

MANCHESTER Van Sales has moved up a gear after opening a showroom in Stalybridge.

It is the first time the family business, whose latest base is at 111 Stamford Street, has had somewhere to show off the customised vans which is its speciality.

The new showroom, which used to be Stalybridge Car Supermarket, is perfectly located in a prime position on the main road through the town.

“When the showroom came on the market, we moved straightaway for it as it couldn’t have been in a better position,” explained Mossley-based Chris Miller, one of the four business partners.

“We have never had anywhere to show off the vehicles and the showroom is not too big to grow into.”

The showroom, whose sales manager is Stalybridge’s Darren McLeod, was given a makeover before the official opening on Saturday, November 16 when they celebrated an opening-day sale.

Chris explained how vans have evolved over the years and they are no longer exclusively for work purposes and their popularity as a lifestyle vehicle has soared.

The vans cost up to £30,000 and customising is usually between £2,000 to £6,000. Features include wheels, windows, air conditioning, heated seats, satnav, cruise control and heated screens. All the work is done in-house so tailoring a vehicle to individual needs is never an issue.

“Everything you dream of in a luxury car you can get in a customised van,” explained Chris who added they sell between 25 and 30 vehicles each month, van which are big, small 4 x 4s and pick-ups.

Through active social media accounts, they sell vehicles from the North of Scotland to the South Coast and as far afield as Africa, Malta, Ireland and the Isle of Man but are keen to work more with local businesses.

MVS has travelled a long way since Brian and Glynis Miller began it 21 years ago as a small garage at Moston which specialised in MOTs, servicing and doing body work.

They moved into van sales eight years ago and today the business has premises on Bayley Street, Stalybridge, and in Ashton and Moston as well as their new showroom.

Brian and Glynis, who are from Stalybridge, remain actively involved in the business, though son Chris and daughter-in-law Michelle run it on a day-to-day basis.

And Chris and Michelle’s daughters Maya, 10, and Hattie, 7, are also on board as they help when needed.

When the company began it was Brian, Glynis and Chris along with one mechanic.

“There were just the four of us, but today we have 12 staff in total,” explained Chris.

“We have grown each year and the leisure industry is an expanding market for van sales.”

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