Damon Hill, John Soden, Nick Whale and Michael Breen
They have launched a new
company called Damon Hill Ltd and have taken over one of BMW's
flagship Midland dealerships and all its stock of new and used
The 65 staff will remain with
the business, which covers Warwick, Leamington and Stratford and has
annual sales of £22 million.
"It's fantastic to be
able to launch Damon Hill Ltd with such an excellent brand name as
"And it was very
important to me to go into this business with a high calibre team of
people - and that includes both the directors and the staff."
Nick Whale's company, Nick
Whale Group Ltd currently has Lexus franchise dealerships in
Birmingham and Coventry as well as Toyota franchise dealerships
covering Coventry and Solihull.
The group, under the name Nick
Whale Sports Cars, currently has a Lotus and Noble dealership in
The deal, which was finalised
yesterday, cements many months of negotiation between Damon Hill and
Nick Whale, who shares the driver's passion for racing and cars.
Discussions are already
underway with other leading specialist car manufacturers to expand the
new company’s business in the region.
"It was Nick's unique
business philosophy that attracted me most into going into business
with him. He sees his
staff and teamwork as the key to a successful business and has
already proved that it does maximise profitability - people are more
likely to do business with a company that's in a good mood!
"Coming from Formula
One I know that effective teamwork contributes to the success of
each individual - when there is good team spirit you get the best
out of people.
"Hopefully having my
name over the door will symbolise that the company stands for
everything I aspired to in my career as a driver - fair play,
competitiveness and a lot of hard work."
Nick Whale said:
"I believe this new
venture with Damon will be an enormous boost to BMW in the region,
and the motor industry now has a new name and face which is
instantly recognisable and with a great reputation.
Damon Hill will be president,
responsible for external customer events to include golf and corporate
Nick Whale will be managing
director responsible for the overall management of the dealership.
Michael Breen, Damon's manager
will be commercial director, while John Soden, partner at Birmingham
law firm Williamson and Soden, will be a non-executive director.