Celebrating 50 Years Trading

Eastbourne car firm celebrates half a million landmark sale

Eastbourne Car Auctions is celebrating after notching up its 500,000th car sale during its 50th year of trading.

The car was a Red 2011 Ford Focus Zetec 5dr, purchased by a customer who first started coming to auctions with his father some 35 years ago.

The family business was set up in July 1967, and in 1989 Jon Mitchell took over the reins from his mother Joy Ashworth, who co-founded the firm and is still actively involved in it.

Jon said: “It’s a great achievement to make it to 50 years of trading and to reach this incredible milestone of half a million car sales. It was an exciting moment for me personally, although I did not let on to the rest of the team until afterwards. I suppose I did not want to jinx the sale.”

It is also a huge badge of honour for Jon and his 49-strong team that they remain an independent business.

“When the family set up the company, there were many car auctions across the country,” Jon said. “Today, there are only a few true independents left. I suppose it is a reflection of tough trading conditions and the need to adapt to an ever-changing market place.

“We pride ourselves on an in-depth knowledge of the car auction world, great attention to detail and fantastic customer service. This is what makes us one of the most popular auction houses in the south east and why

more people each year come to us to buy and sell a vast range of vehicles.”

Eastbourne Car Auctions (ECA) specialises in the sale by auction of a variety of pre-owned cars and commercial vehicles and is one of only four auction houses that has previously been recommended in the AA’s magazine Drive.

It sells an average of 10,000 vehicles per year, which amounts to £24 million worth of vehicles. Sales are held every Wednesday at 11am and every Friday at 6pm.

In 2016, ECA took the highly commended spot in the prestigious Car Dealer Power 2016 awards. It was the only independent company short-listed in the Auction House of the Year category, which is dominated by national chains.

In the early years of the business, car auctions suffered from poor press and were a place where only the experienced motor trader ventured. ECA worked hard to change the perception and it often welcomes back private buyers who have brought several cars over the years.