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Roy West's new venture paves way to Prot

PUBLISHED: 11:45 03 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 22 October 2010

He's one of the best-known names in the local motor trade and now Roy West has put his name and reputation behind the Proton brand in Norfolk by becoming its sole dealer in the county.

He's one of the best-known names in the local motor trade and now Roy West has put his name and reputation behind the Proton brand in Norfolk by becoming its sole dealer in the county.

Roys Motor Company's newly-acquired showroom and huge workshop premises in Sprowston Road has taken on the franchise for the go-ahead Malaysian car company in place of Cromer and Fakenham-based Coredale.

Roy, who pilots his privately-owned aircraft, has his feet firmly on the ground rather than his head in the clouds regarding Proton's potential with its keenly-priced model range, input from Lotus and huge new Malaysian car plant.

Roy, who has been in the motor trade since 1960 and had one of the first Toyota franchises in the UK, believes Proton also has a bright future in the UK. “They are probably where Toyota was when I took Toyota on 30 years ago,” he said.

Older people will remember when Roy was a young, adventurous two-wheeler dealer operating a moped shop at West Pottergate, near Grapes Hill, Norwich. From there he launched himself into extensive new premises in Rouen Road where, after running a Daf dealership which was taken over by Volvo, he secured a Toyota franchise which was so successful that Roy and his loyal staff were operating the largest Toyota dealership in the UK as sales soared.

After building up his business, Roy dreamed of flying his aeroplane around the world and laying in the sun, but soon needed a new challenge and compromised for what he calls being semi-retired by opening and running an independent, comparatively modest but busy specialist Toyota sales and service centre in Leopold Road, Norwich.

But even when Roy had been at the Rouen Road site, he had always hankered after the prime Sprowston Road site. And seeking a mutually-attractive franchise, Proton came to the fore with Roy impressed by its vast expenditure commitment to a state-of-the-art factory, acquiring ownership of Lotus and using its technological skill to further the handling and driving satisfaction of Proton cars allied to the fact that Proton UK's head office is at Hethel, home of Lotus, where the cars that enter the country are taken before UK dealer distribution.

For those drivers who do not want to own a new car, Roys Motor Company will still offer top-quality used cars and after sales service and Toyota specialist servicing and sales.

The new Sprowston Road premises include two workshops and eight ramps so it can cope with plenty of through traffic. The reception will still be ably operated by frontman Ian Paske and the capable team of technicians led by long-serving Graham Mitchell. The wide forecourt holds 35 cars and the showroom can display 10 vehicles.

Roys Motor Company is also running the Proton showroom at Norwich City Football Club in Carrow Road.


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