Queen’s dealer forced to close
Small Jaguar dealership brushed aside after four decades of Royal service
The London dealership that serviced the Royal household’s Jaguar fleet will close at the end of the year as it could not meet the strict standards needed to continue representing the franchise.
Kensington-based RA Creamer & Son has delivered Jaguars to HM The Queen and her family for the past four decades and the dealer has been working with the franchise on and off for the last 90.
Michael Quinn, the grandson of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, and managing director at the business, let staff know earlier this year ( CCW, 2 March 2016) it would be likely the company would have to close, but has now confirmed it will hand back its Royal warrant and cease trading at the end of 2016.
Jaguar’s rapid expansion would have called for more dealership space to display its growing model range. Jaguar has more than doubled the amount of new cars it sells in the UK over the last five years, going from 14,000 in 2012 to over 30,000 this year.
Quinn tells CCW: ‘We had been looking at the level of investment Jaguar owning company Tata was making in JLR a couple of years ago and we knew there were expectations for ramping up production considerably.
‘For a small dealership like us we knew it might be a bit of a problem in the future. Jaguar had made it very clear to us that it was going to revamp its franchised dealer network.’
The connection with the Royals started in the early 1980s, looking after cars for Clarence House, Buckingham palace and Kensington palace. Jaguar supplied vehicles to the Royals directly, but RA Creamer acted as the handover service and London base for deliveries. It took care of all the servicing and maintenance for the Royal Jaguar fleet.
Quinn is now planning to set up his own classic car sales and servicing business in London, with a view to offering employment to some of the existing 14-strong team at RA Creamer.
A Jaguar spokesman comments: ‘Over recent years Jaguar has totally overhauled its car range. Jaguar sales are increasing as a result and we are asking all authorised Jaguar centres to upgrade their facilities to cope with increased customer interest.’
Jaguar Xk140 at ra creamer’s kensington showroom in 1982. The car was being restored for a customer in sierra leone.