Shades of success as car firm bucks the Brexit trend

Proud managing director Steve Giles at Car Shades new factory.
Proud managing director Steve Giles at Car Shades new factory.

A thriving company has defied post-Brexit doubts and fears by expanding, and by moving into new, state-of-the-art headquarters at Bilsthorpe Business Park.

The award-winning Car Shades, which makes bespoke, fully-tailored sun shades for all kinds of vehicles, is setting up its UK base at the centre, resulting in four new jobs. And it believes the move shows that the British manufacturing industry can shrug off the potential trading trauma caused by Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

“We’re already proud to be working with some of the world’s greatest automotive manufacturers,” said Car Shades’ boss, Steve Giles, who hails from Mansfield.

“The new factory will give us the ability to offer increased production and even higher quality-control, which means we’ll continue to buck the current economic trends.”

The purpose-built factory, which is located in an area that is currently enjoying an economic resurgence, is both spacious and high-tech. Mr Giles added: “We’re delighted to be investing further into British manufacturing, and it’s always a great feeling to be putting the results of your company’s success back into the local economy.”

Car Shades, which was formerly based off Burma Road in Blidworth, was established in 2003. While making other vehicle accessories, it noticed a gap in the market for quality sun shades for cars.

The firm, which employs 16 full-time staff, stepped up a gear in May 2015 when Mr Giles, who used to be operations manager, took control and expanded its network. Turnover increased by 30% in a year, and Car Shades now has distributors in 17 European countries, with others slated to come on board over the coming months in the USA and South Africa. It also has contracts with three of the largest car manufacturers in the world, and even more in the pipeline.

The impressive new factory adds to the rosy future for the firm. At 24,000 square feet, its three times the size of Car Shades’ previous home -- space that will allow it to stock up to 16,500 sets of shades, all ready for fast distribution.

The company’s sister business, Vanstyle, the UK’s largest importer and distributor of accessories for vans, will also move into the new headquarters this month.