We are a family business that has been trading for over 100 years. The directors both work in the shop and are customer facing. We have a wealth of knowledge and unrivalled experience with motorcycles. We have a low rate of staff turnover, ensuring that we have superb knowledge of the product and procedures and a great rapport with our customers.
In November 1919, Hatfields of Crowthorne officially opened. The founder of the company, H G Davis, who was the current owners great grandfather, actually began trading as a motor engineer in 1900.
However, it was another 19 years before he relocated to the current premises in Crowthorne High Street. Initially the main trade of the business was in car, motorcycle and cycle repairs, along with a car rental service and a petrol pump. In the years following World War 1, the business owner diversified into selling fishing tackle and field sports accessories.
Mr Davis was a keen cyclist so it wasn’t long before a range of bicycles were available to the people of Crowthorne. Tom Hatfield joined his father-in-law’s business in the 1930’s and as he and his wife Phylis were keen motorcyclists, more emphasis was placed on the sale of these. Tom’s son, Keith Hatfield, joined the family business in the early 1960’s and it was at this time that the first Honda motorcycles were sold - before Honda UK even existed!
Over the next 20 years, other brands sold at Hatfields included Yamaha, Lambretta, Mobylette, CZ, and NVT. In the 1980’s, a decision was made to concentrate on the Honda brand and Hatfields become a dedicated solus dealer. Keith was keen that the fourth generation should be given the opportunity to pursue pathways outside of the family business, so Martin (one of the current owners) was encouraged to study for a university degree and travel the world. Eventually, circumstances dictated a return for Martin to Hatfields, “just to help out” and thirty years later he’s still there. A few years later he was joined by his sister Fiona, and the pair now work together looking after the day to day running of the business.
The decision to end our longstanding relationship with Honda was not an easy one. We had been supporting the brand for over sixty years and had enjoyed selling great product. Unfortunately over the last 10 years or so the business model adapted by Honda began to loose it’s appeal. The amount of control we had over our own business was diminishing each year and the amount of reports required and general “jumping through hoops” was increasing at an alarming rate. Due to the numbers of new Hondas we were selling we were being “encouraged” to move from our Crowthorne premises and relocate to a larger more expensive showroom in the Reading area. By 2020 we weren’t even able to choose what bikes to display and were being allocated stock with very little room for negotiation. Distress selling was actively encouraged and our margins were being reduced with more emphasis on a “back end bonus”. This was fine for larger dealerships selling huge numbers of bikes, but didn’t really fit with our more traditional sales model.
During the summer of 2020, during the Corona Virus Pandemic, we were visited by two mask wearing representatives from Honda UK. They had come to inform us that their requirement to have a dealership in Reading would now be taken care of by a large car retailing group with over 100 dealerships under their control. This would ultimately mean that Hatfields would no longer be able to represent the Honda brand after a certain date. For us this came as quite a shock. We were performing well - selling more bikes in 2020 than we have ever sold before, and in a year where we were required to be shut for a number of months. We had also just been presented with an award for having the best customer service record within the Honda motorcycle network. Unfortunately these accolades didn’t help - the decision to terminate our agreement with Honda was based on a financial commitment that the manufacturer had made in the past and there was no other solution…….. There is obviously a lot more to this story - but probably best told over a coffee or beer - and not on a website page.
So in the end the difficult decision to jump ship was made for us. We still love most of the bikes they produe, and we can still service and look after them with our factory trained technicians. Afterall you probably don't want your bike serviced at a car garage do you?
2022 and beyond will deliver exciting times for Hatfields. We have some great new brands and more importantly we feel we have managed to regain our independence.
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61 High StreetCrowthorneBerkshireRG45 7AD
Tuesday - Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday 9am - 4:30pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed
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Hatfields of Crowthorne Ltd (FCA no. 664029) acts as a credit broker and not a lender.