DORSET’S largest and oldest independent used car specialist is spending £500,000 on an expansion to its main site.

Norman Motors, set up in 1953 at Wallisdown Road, is demolishing a home adjacent to the building to make room for a new showroom and forecourt area.

Proprietor David Norman is the third generation of his family to run the dealership, which has grown significantly in the last few years.

He said: “In spite of the recession, our used car business has held up very well indeed.

“We specialise in mid to top end, quality low mileage vehicles and vehicle servicing and repairs, for which the demand has remained high. We did put the investment on hold until there was more confidence in the economy in general, and now we feel that the time is right.”

The expansion will see forecourt capacity increase by up to a third, while the main showroom, service centre waiting area and office buildings will be refurbished.

Mr Norman said: “The business is growing and we now employ up to 20 people both in car sales and at our service centre. With this project we will be able to display up to 80 cars on the Wallisdown Road site, and 40 on our Bournemouth Road premises.”

Last year, the business won Which Trusted Trader status, was approved by the Foxy Lady drivers club and became a registered Bosch Service Centre.

Mr Norman added: “At the end of the day we are a very traditional business, which serves us well. We are passionate about ‘old fashioned’ customer care and providing a personal, courteous service, which is why most of our business comes through either repeat customers or direct recommendations. It’s my name above the door and it matters to me that the family reputation is upheld.”

The current work, including exterior landscaping, is due for completion in autumn, when a company re-launch is planned. The business will remain open throughout the work.