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Logo: Tom Bates, Derbyshire Local Histrory writer  
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Chesterfield Motorcycles - Centre of Excellence!

Posted Saturday, June 23, 2007

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Chesterfield Motorcycle Centre.

Or CMC to it’s friends!

`One of the UK's leading Motorcycle Retailers'

The continued success of Chesterfield Motorcycle Centre - one of the U.K.’s leading motorcycle retailers - epitomises a passionate belief in the value and veracity of a family work ethic allied to an unparalleled product knowledge, efficient team-work, and over 100 years of combined experience in the motorcycle retail trade.

`Branches in Nottingham and Cannock'

The company, which has recently expanded its network with branches opening on Mansfield Road, Nottingham and at the Brindley Industrial Estate in Cannock, Staffordshire, is largely the product of a family motorcycle dynasty founded originally as Staveley Motorcycles by Maurice Feltham in a small motorcycle dealership at Staveley in 1974. From such humble beginnings, Mr. Feltham Senior and his three sons Ross, Mark and Darren – all Directors of CMC – have built a successful business which became Chesterfield Motorcycle Centre when the company moved to larger premises at Storforth Lane, Chesterfield in 1993.

Continued success saw CMC move three years later into new and larger premises when in 1996 the company bought the excellent facility at Calow, Chesterfield, which became their H.Q.

Within two years CMC grew into one of the largest volume motorcycle retail outlets in Europe and the CMC Yamaha dealership was officially recognised as the best and most successful in the country.

The warm and friendly welcome engendered by the CMC `family’ ethic generated by the Feltham’s business integrity achieved yet greater success and customer satisfaction, and soon paid dividends.

By 1998 CMC had become established as the third largest motorcycle retailer in the country!

CMC’s expanding customer base and burgeoning regional success soon caught the national attention and in 1998 former American motorcycle entrepreneur Ed Lemco, then Chairman of U.K.One Group was sufficiently impressed following a visit to CMC at Chesterfield (which, he conceded, had a definite ‘Wow! Factor’) that he suggested an amalgamation of the five major motorcycle retailers in the country into a new ‘supergroup’.

A lucrative offer – which was accepted by CMC - soon followed, and in 1999 the former family company became the jewel in the crown of Bikes U.K., one of the largest motorcycle retailing groups in the United Kingdom.

Under the new regime Mark & Darren stayed on in management and Ross became a Regional Director of Bikes U.K whilst Maurice reduced his work load to two days a week.

But bigger is not always better, and following a levelling off in the growth of motorcycling during the millennium year, and with corporate analysts forecasting no further improvement, the financial institutions called in the Receivers and on November 5th 2001 Bikes U.K. were placed into administration.

Within weeks the family had launched a successful rescue package to buy back CMC out of receivership.

The Felthams were joined by Frank Hayes, former Regional Director of Bikes U.K and previously of the Daewoo car group. The purchase of both the Nottingham and Cannock retail outlets were also part of the business plan and on December 14th 2001 the new company, CMC Chesterfield Ltd was born.

Focussing on the `family’ concept at CMC, Maurice Feltham said, “We felt that CMC had been re-born and had risen phoenix-like from the ashes of Bikes U.K.’s demise”.

The new company is structured with Frank Hayes as Group Operations Director; Ross Feltham as Group Sales Director, whilst the other three Directors of the company comprise of Maurice Feltham who has an ambassadorial and promotional role both internally and externally, and sons Mark and Darren who are also involved at sales management level at the Calow headquarters. The company employs around 75 people, with 33 at the Chesterfield branch – and happily for all concerned, the ‘family’ is back together again.

Asked about the secret of CMC’s success in bucking the national trend of declining retail sales Maurice Feltham explained, “The difference is one of attitude and concept. For example, our concept of the staff at CMC is that they do not work for us – they work with us. Likewise our concept of sales is that we do not sell motorcycles to our customers – we simply assist our customers to buy them”. He added, “We operate with our staff as a large family and consider our customers to be like family friends”.

CMC regularly have a stand at the annual National Motorcycle Show at the N.E.C. in Birmingham, which normally takes place in November, and with a projected turnover for the first year of around £10m, their network of one-stop motorcycle superstores exceeded all projected targets in the first six months of trading! Since then the company has gone from strength to strength; with an excellent customer service base, family work ethic in a friendly environment, and fuelled with expert product knowledge which is allied to a superb crew whose watchword is teamwork - then like the motorcycles that they pride themselves in, CMC Chesterfield Ltd are geared up for really going places!

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