Bicester: Barclays supports Porsche specialist move to new facility

Leading independent Porsche specialist Autofarm has opened the doors to a new, purpose-built facility in Oxfordshire, moving all operations only a few miles from its current site to a brand new workshop set in the picturesque surroundings of Merton Grounds.

The move, supported with a funding facility from Barclays, is not only set to streamline the business and make projects run more efficiently for Autofarm’s dedicated team of Porsche experts; but all features of the new workshop have been planned based on customer feedback to ensure that the new site retains the unique Autofarm feel, while improving the environment and client experience.

Developed in barn buildings among woodlands and lakes, the new Autofarm workshop is located in the new Boxengasse development at Wendlebury, Bicester – a site which provides premises dedicated exclusively to Porsche-focused companies.

For the first time, all of Autofarm’s 17-strong team have been brought together under the same roof, allowing the servicing, diagnostic, rebuild and restoration departments to share their expertise in the new workshops. The firm which was established in 1973 and changed ownership to Mikey Wastie and Steve Wood in 2015, now boasts an annual turnover of over £3 million and is expected to hire new staff in the coming weeks.

Mikey Wastie was keen to share how important customer input had been in making the decision to move. “Our customers have an expectation of what it means to be part of the Autofarm ‘family’. We are a passionate team who love what we do, and our decades of unparalleled expertise and our reputation for high-quality work means that we are trusted with some of the rarest and fascinating Porsches in the world.

“But more than that, our customers know that we care about doing a great job for every individual who commissions us to work on their car. They know that coming to our quirky offices, where they know every member of our team by name, is part of what it means to be an Autofarm customer. We were sure that when the time came to move, we would have to find premises that had the right character to ensure we could retain that uniquely personal Autofarm experience.

“The new site at Boxengasse is the perfect place for the next chapter of Autofarm’s story. We have invested in the future of our team – giving them the space and the new technology that they need to create beautiful results for our clients and we now have room to grow and bring other elements of our organisation on site in the future.”

Steve Wood added: “While it has been important for us, as the new generation of directors, to ensure stability and familiarity for our existing Autofarm customers, we feel the time is right to evolve the business, particularly as we look to develop the exciting work we are carrying out on modern Porsches as well as the classic air-cooled cars we are renowned for.

“The new site has that familiar Autofarm feel, with red brick walls and exposed structures, but will offer a more inviting, inclusive environment for our customers and will allow all of our departments to work more efficiently together. We are excited to be able to invite our customers to come and see what the next era of Autofarm looks like.”

Richard Huddleston, Barclays business manager, Oxford, who supported the firm’s move to its new bespoke premises, added: “We’re pleased to support such a well-run strong local firm take the next steps in their business growth ambitions. This has to be great news for their customers, the firm and the local economy, and we wish them every success in the future.”

Autofarm will complete its transition into the new premises over the coming months with a view to being fully operational at the new site in May 2019. Now that the doors are officially open, a series of launch events will take place to allow new and existing customers to tour the new workshops.