Family-run Shelbourne Motors celebrates 50 glorious years with £3m investment programme – Car Dealer Magazine

Shelbourne Motors is celebrating its golden anniversary with a £3m capital investment programme across its multi-franchise sites.

The business – one of Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned vehicle retailers – is carrying out major renovations and upgrades at its dealerships in Portadown and Newry.

The work has already started with its Nissan dealership in Portadown adopting the Japanese car manufacturer’s new visual identity.

This has included putting up signs with the brand’s new logo and updating the showroom.

The programme will continue across Shelbourne’s Portadown and Newry sites, transforming their Toyota, Renault, Kia and Dacia dealerships in line with each manufacturer’s retail and customer service concepts.

The modern, flexible and sustainable-focused designs will include state-of-the-art showrooms with the latest technologically advanced features, new car handover bays, enhanced customer service facilities plus EV chargepoints.


Paul Ward, one of the directors of Shelbourne Motors, said: ‘This is a significant investment in the future growth of our business as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.

‘Our customers and staff will start to see changes across our multi-franchise dealerships in Portadown and Newry as we future-proof our business and further strengthen our position as one of Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned vehicle retailers.

‘This £3m capital investment programme will allow us to continue to focus on delivering a quality customer experience across our excellent franchise network and creating jobs across all areas of the business that supports the local economy.’

Shelbourne Motors was founded in 1973 when owner Fred Ward converted his former forecourt business into a used car sales unit.

Now led by the second generation of the family, Shelbourne sells more than 5,000 new and used cars a year and employs a growing team of over 150 staff.

It boasts the longest-established Toyota franchise in Northern Ireland, along with franchises for Nissan, Renault, Kia, Dacia and Maxus, as well as its own used car brand – Autoselect – and vehicle rental division.


Ward added: ‘This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone associated with Shelbourne Motors.

‘We have come a long way since our father, Fred Ward, launched our first car dealership in 1973.

‘Over the past 50 years, we have prided ourselves on being a family-run business built upon a commitment to offering exceptional choice and excellent customer service to our strong and loyal customer base.

‘With an excellent reputation spanning five decades, we are firmly established as one of Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned vehicle retailers with an impressive portfolio of global vehicle manufacturers.

‘We are always looking to the future as we strive to continually evolve and invest in our customer service offering.’

Shelbourne’s latest available accounts show that it made a pre-tax profit of £3.09m for the year ended December 31, 2021 – up from £2.17m the year before – on a turnover of £77.9m, which itself was up on the previous year’s £69.4m.

Pictured at top from left are sibling directors Paul Ward, Richard Ward and Caroline Willis with their father, Fred Ward

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