Our History

Colin Appleyard started his career as an apprentice motorcycle mechanic, working his way through the ranks of a long established local motorcycle company to the position of Sales Director, dealing in Triumph and other famous British marques.

In 1970, at the age of 34, Colin decided it was time to take the plunge and started his own business with his wife Peggy by his side. The rest, as they say, is history.

Colin opened his first, modest premises in the town of Keighley, West Yorkshire in 1971. As the business evolved it quickly outgrew the original building and so in 1975 Colin Appleyard moved into a larger town centre property with 12,000 square foo of space to fill.

Following considerable refurbishment, the new premises in Worth Way were quite rightly described as "the biggest and best in the North of England". A year later the Chief Executive of Honda UK and industry icon, Eric Sulley performed the official opening ceremony to recognise the Colin Appleyard showroom as the first Honda Five Star Service Centre in this part of the country.

From strength to strength

Not content with selling 2 wheel machines, Colin branched out into the world of 4 wheels and on the 1st January 1979 opened his first car dealership in Keighley. This was also the very first Suzuki car dealership in the UK and continues to be one of the biggest selling Suzuki sites within the UK.

Colin's success continued, as did the popularity of the Suzuki brand, and in 1984 the business grew further with the opening of a second Suzuki dealership in the town of Huddersfield.

Always on the lookout for further opportunity, Colin was not to stand still and in 2001 he stepped further afield and over the borders into Lancashire taking over an existing car dealership in Ashton Under Lyne. This was to be the 3rd in the Suzuki dealership line-up and in 2011 moved to a much larger location on the other side of the town where it remains today.

Both Ashton and Huddersfield are also official franchise retailers for the Subaru brand, known for it's relability and all-wheel drive capabilities.

2007 saw the Suzuki 4 wheel empire grow once again with the opening of a 4th dealership in Shipley, on the outskirts of Bradford. As with motorcycles and Ashton, the business soon outgrew the Shipley premises and in 2018 re-located to a much bigger, and more prominent site on Canal Road, Bradford where it continues to flourish today.

And of course we can't miss an important milestone in 2013 which saw the welcoming of the Nissan brand to the Colin Appleyard group. Based on Coney Lane in Keighley, the Nissan dealership added a new element to the 4 wheel side of the business and along with the other 4 car sites continues to go from strength to srength.


Current Day

The business continues to be a family affair with Colin's son, Robin, heading things up as Managing Director. Just like Colin, Robin is passionate about the business and committed to ensuring customers feel like they are also a part of the family. With 5 dealerships, over 100 members of staff and as official franchise dealers for Suzuki, Nissan and Subaru, I'm sure you'd agree it's come a long way from it's small beginnings!

Whilst the business is now focused on 4 wheels, Robin continues to support both his and Colin's lifelong passion for motorcycles through the Appleyard Macadam Racing, one of the longest established teams within the British motorcycle racing championship. You can find out more about the team here.