Humble Beginnings

Colin Appleyard Ltd. started from humble beginnings, when its founder, Colin Appleyard MBE, a 34-year-old apprentice mechanic and entrepreneur, opened a Suzuki motorcycle showroom in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in 1971.

Starting as a one-man band, he successfully grew the business and in 1979, was asked by Suzuki when travelling over the Atlantic Ocean to a motorcycle sales incentive trip in California, whether he would be interested in opening the brand’s first car showroom. He duly accepted and began trading from Cornmill Garage in Keighley in the spring of that year, selling only one model, the SC100 “Whizzkid” coupé.


During the past four decades, the company has evolved thanks to a significant level of investment, and Colin Appleyard now operates four state-of-the-art Suzuki car dealerships across Yorkshire, in Keighley (the company’s headquarters), Huddersfield, and Ashton-under-Lyne, as well as its newest showroom in Bradford. Generating an annual turnover of nearly £48 million, it is today the vehicle manufacturer’s largest retail group in the UK, and is responsible for generating around 5% of all Suzuki car sales in this country.

suzuki at colin appleyard

Just as it started, the company continues to be owned by the Appleyard family and is run by the founder’s son, Robin. Furthermore, Colin Appleyard prides itself both on its friendly and personal “Feel Like Family” approach, and loyal staff members, where around a quarter of its 150-strong team have worked for the business for 20 years. This means that that repeat customers are often welcomed by a familiar face, and their commitment to delivering a high standard of service of quality has been rewarded seven times with Suzuki’s "Dealer of the Year" award.

40 years colin appleyard
40 years colin appleyard

Fast forward 40 years from when the company’s first car showroom opened its doors, and Suzuki’s stylish, affordable and acclaimed model range in 2019 counts the all-new Vitara compact SUV, the most technology-advanced Suzuki ever made, and the latest-generation Jimny, the lightweight and agile 4x4 which has been sold by Colin Appleyard for the last 20 years.

Looking to the future, we will be welcoming more hybrid models into the Suzuki range as low CO2 emissions and running costs increasingly make their way to the top of car buyers’ wish lists. Back to the present day, and all four Suzuki dealerships will be hosting commemorative events as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, as well as a series of photographic displays and timelines for customers to peruse at their leisure.

Here's to the next 40 years!