A LOYAL and dedicated workforce was today praised for helping a car dealership to reach a 10-year milestone.
Ford Holiways first moved into Brenda Road in Hartlepool on July 1, 2001.
It was the first time the company had expanded from its Newton Aycliffe base in its then 30-year history.
But that growth signalled the start of an expansion plan which now sees Ford Holiway employing a 170-strong workforce across four sites.
Sales manager Tom Crowe, a Hartlepool man himself, put the success down to a loyal workforce, many of whom had stayed with the company for years.
He said: “We have a settled core of people. Many places have a big staff changeover but not here.
“The one thing I have always said about this firm is it is loyal.”
He said that, as well as himself, other long-serving staff included Ray Bennett who had been at the site in its various guises for 25 years or more.
Ford Holiways was first started as a firm by John Hardy who has recently retired.
He ran the company for 30 years in the Newton Aycliffe area before his son Matthew began an expansion programme.
Hartlepool was the first new addition with Durham and Bishop Auckland also joining the ranks.
The firm also has two body shops and covers both new and used car sales as well as services and repairs. MoT and body shop facilities.
The Hartlepool branch was previously Ewart Parsons and Jennings before becoming Ford Holiways.
Sales director Duncan Robson said: “We are doing well. We are solid, we are secure and we are still looking to expand.
“This is a thank you to the staff and to our customers for supporting us and believing in us.”