By Martha Humphreys
Expanding van sales and hire business, We Do Vans has moved into a new prominent premises in central Gillingham to cope with demand and continue its growth.
They now have space to display used vehicles, including various campervans and vehicles suitable for conversions.
Owner Simon Prout joined Bakers of Gillingham, in 1988 where he first started as a trainee salesman. But his business success story began in 2002 when Simon and close colleague Naomi, set up a fleet sales department within Bakers Peugeot which focused on van sales. It became the biggest Peugeot van dealership in the south of England, something Simon is very proud of.
In 2007, Simon parted with Bakers and he and his wife Christine decided to start a new venture, with Naomi: their own van dealership.
“I’d always hoped to do something on my own and it was the right time,” Simon said.
We Do Vans was born, and 12 years later, they offer a diverse fleet that can cater for any van needs– and even campervan hiring. In a few words Simon describes the business as “big enough to cope, small enough to care.”
“We like to think we can think outside the box,” said Simon. “We can come up with a scheme that suits you.”
He was born and raised in Sherborne and has grown up in and around the Gillingham area. He is local and always eager to give back to the community.
He sponsors Gillingham Town Football Club, among others, and is also involved with community projects. Now Simon is giving back to local people who have supported him and has even begun selling to the second generation of families.
His new premises, on the main road opposite Asda, is much more spacious, displaying a wider range of vans, boosting visibility. Recently, We Do Vans supplied three solar-panelled vans for Styles Farmhouse ice cream.
Simon says he hopes to continue and grow this area of his business as the ‘green’ movement progresses.
“Consolidation and steady growth,” Simon said, about the future of We Do Vans.
Address: Station Road,
Gillingham SP8 4QA