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How Lowestoft car dealership has dealt with tidal surge two years on

Lowestoft car dealership, Lings is now up and running after the recent floods.
Sales manager Ben Thompson at the showroom.

Lowestoft car dealership, Lings is now up and running after the recent floods. Sales manager Ben Thompson at the showroom.

Having your business premises completely flooded in a tidal surge might be considered a disaster by many firms.

But two years on from the tidal surge, Lowestoft-based Lings Motor Group has described how it turned the devastating situation to its advantage.

The car dealership’s Riverside showroom and forecourt was flooded by 3ft of water on December 5 2013, damaging approximately 100 hours.

Lings - which has been in the town for six decades and was one of the first businesses to move into the Riverside area - was only closed for four days so the water could be cleared and the electrics were working again.

It has remained open ever since - although parts of the showroom had to be sectioned off over the next eight months while renovations took place.

Principal dealer Ben Thompson said that while new car sales inevitably suffered, used cars sales stayed relatively even.

He also praised the firm’s insurance company, Aviva, for its “phenomenal” help.

However he said: “At that point it gave us an opportunity to take a step back and think about what we do as a business.”

It looked at how it could best use the showroom and any new franchises or products it could offer, adding Mitsubishi to its franchise.

It was also able to bring Triumph motorcycles and Husqvana off-road motorcycles, along with specialist motorcycle clothing.

Mr Thompson said the focus was around “bringing different people through the doors”, while focusing on customers within a 20-mile radius of the business.

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