Member of the Week - Harry Fairbairn BMW & Mini
Harry Fairbairn have been operating in Inverness since 2014 having taken over from Calterdon. The acquisition of Calterdon by Arnold Clark enabled the expansion of the Harry Fairbairn brand which was already trading in Giffnock, Irvine and Kirkcaldy.
Originally on the Harbour Road site, Harry Fairbairn moved to its current location on Longman Road 3 years ago in a new purpose built showroom where the latest new models from both BMW and Mini brands are on display on the ground floor and BMW Motorrad have new and used BMW Motorbikes available on the first floor.
Inverness Chamber spoke to Paul Cutress, an experienced automotive industry professional. Paul spent a number of years working for Hertz Lease and Hertz Lease International gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the business vehicle fleet and leasing industry through the perspective of medium/large vehicle fleet organisations.
After a lengthy spell away from the Highlands the opportunity came for Paul to return and the ability to work with Arnold Clark in the BMW brand at Harry Fairbairn was irresistible.
About his role, said: “Having moved through the retail sales side into the B2B arena as Business Product Consultant at Harry Fairbairn BMW & Mini Inverness, I am responsible for business development of the brands into local businesses.
Whether it is about projecting the right image for the business, attracting or retaining key employees or sheer financial good sense, the BMW & Mini brands represent tremendous value as a business proposition and I am here to add value to local businesses (and when I say local that means all of North Scotland) by demonstrating that cost effectiveness.”
Paul told us why he would like Harry Fairbairn to feature as member of the week: “BMW & Mini have had a local retail presence in the area for some time, however historically any local business wanting to evaluate the BMW & Mini brands as options have had to deal with our hub in Glasgow, but now they have a more local contact who is able to provide them with a local business relationship and point of contact. This enriches the whole experience and enables a more proactive approach from our part when it comes to providing a full contract service.
I am able to visit customers at their convenience and organise demonstrators to enable them to make informed decisions in person rather than on the end of a telephone. I can therefore support business to focus on their key role and remove the administrative complexities often associated with vehicle provision.”
Financially, Harry Fairbairn are seeing a transition of business car users opting for a cash allowance in lieu of a company car due to the seemingly ever increasing Benefit In Kind taxation and they have financial solutions for these drivers that make exceptional economic sense.
Paul said: “Combine this with understanding the latest tax legislation and emissions structure based regimes and I can provide a completely free review of business policy in these areas to ensure local businesses are making cost effective choices when it comes to their mobility solutions.
My experience within the industry and knowledge of the current legislation and market forces enables me to provide the information necessary for business to make informed choices.”
The current key promotion is the all new BMW 3 series launched in early March – not just because it is such an important car for BMW, but also because it takes great strides in terms of technology, efficiency and driving dynamics over competition in the market currently.
Winning the What Car Executive Car of the Year 2019 straight out of the box so to speak was a real accomplishment in such a competitive market.
We can’t forget however we have also seen the launch of the new BMW 7 Series executive saloon, BMW 8 Series Coupe and Convertible, and the stunningly beautiful BMW Z4.
And this is just the beginning of May – Harry Fairbairn are still due a number of significant new model launches and updates this year from both BMW & Mini including the all new BMW X7, new BMW 1 Series, revised M3 and M4 and in particular in the hybrid and electric model ranges – new BMW 330e, BMW X5 45e, X3 30e hybrids are all coming this year as is the all-electric Mini Hatchback.
Paul shared Harry Fairbairn’s business plans for over the coming 12 months: “With the new model launches due, the ability to service customers from our Inverness branch and my experience within the industry, our plans are focused on supporting local business to grow with added value.
Our region is enjoying a wealth of new opportunities; the continued well deserved growth of Inverness Airport, Port of Cromarty Firth and the future new Spaceport for example all point to a need for an increased local working population and infrastructure and we can support that in conjunction with local businesses. It’s all about adding value and this is exactly where we are positioned as a business.”
Paul told us about the success of The BMW & Mini brands: “They speak for themselves – I am fiercely proud to be associated with them through Arnold Clark given their reputation for quality and customer value for money.
Personally, I strive to be a consistent source of knowledge that businesses can rely on for accurate information and reliable service to enable them to make informed choices. I have been fully accredited by both Arnold Clark and BMW (UK) to carry out the role I do and I am also FCA accredited to discuss relevant financial products.”
Paul told us what he values most about his Inverness Chamber membership: “Chamber membership is vital to me to stay in touch with local business developments and to connect with key figures in local business. My role is about developing long term relationships as much as anything and these are built on making connections and providing services that customers can trust will do what they say.”
We asked Paul to provide his top-tip to maximise your membership: “ Be involved – invest your time in the Chamber - they are here for you and if you are not involved it’s not just you missing out, it’s all the other chamber members missing what could be valuable services you have to provide.”