Hippo, although a relatively new company, were not unfamiliar to the motor industry. It was set up by Thomas Preston, part of the well-known Earby based Preston Family, who have been trading in the Lancashire area since 1906. Initially set up as a coal merchant by founder George Preston , the business took a new direction into motor trading in 1960. After many successful years, the dealership specialising in BMW and Minis, and being run by the Preston’s was sold. After his father sold the business, an off the cuff idea had Tom Preston thinking, not wanting to work for anyone else, he decided to set up alone and Hippo Leasing was born in 2007.
Now specialising in leasing, Tom was fortunate to secure franchises from some of the world’s top manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Land Rover, BMW and MINI, which helped Hippo achieve some of the best car leasing deals available. They could be as competitive as possible, and they became confident that they could find the best deal on the leasing market for their customers.
Starting with a staff team of just one, in their first year of trading Hippo had a turnover of £2 million, not bad for a one man band! Just 5 years on the company has spiralled into success, now a 24 strong team, and a turnover of over £11 million.
Hippo leasing as a company is working and nothing says that better than they’re recent polling in Lancashire’s Fab 500 business where they came 457th.
Toms said ‘I would imagine that we will be much higher once this year’s accounts are filed. Baring in mind there are over 60,000+ business in Lancashire we should all be really proud of what we have achieved in a small space of time.’
A fantastic example of entrepreneurship in a time of recession, Tom Preston had a dream, and made it reality. Hippo leasing is being recognised, it is a great example of hard work, vision and dedication to see it through. With the £ at an all-time low, business’ are being left behind in the dust, making it all the more vital to make companies like this work.
Lancashire has long been a hive of business activity, and this relatively small county is filled with great untapped resources and savvy people. But will Hippo Leasing stop here?
Now well on their way in the Fab 500, they now have their sights set on the Hot 100, which showcases the top 100 most profitable companies in the area. Let’s hope there are many more years to come of this modest Hippo; born from coaling, educated in flash cars, a strong grounded Northern root, and a family heart beating at the centre, we feel this Hippo is definitely not retreating into the mud any time soon.