Bespoke South Shields company drives business to the USA

A man who turned his passion into a business is going global with his bespoke Land Rover upgrades.

David Slater, owner of Sear Motor Holdings,
David Slater, owner of Sear Motor Holdings,

David Slater has dedicated his professional career to the automotive industry.

Now, Sear Motor Holdings, his company, based at South Tyneside Businessworks is gearing up to accelerate into new overseas markets, thanks to support from the Department for International Trade.

David Slater, owner of Sear Motor Holdings,

David travels more than 100,000 miles a year to find Land Rover Defenders from across Europe, Modifications are then carried out before they are delivered to customers across the world - mainly the United States and Canada.

Modifications range from changing the seat configuration to accommodate a surfboard for a customer in Malibu, to fitting an automatic transmission for a customer in Beverly Hills.

David said: “We specialise in the refurbishment of genuine left-hand drive Defenders that are sourced from all over Europe. Last year alone I travelled over 138,000 miles to source Land Rovers from across Europe, travelling as far east as Croatia.

“Once we source the cars, we transport them to our base in South Shields and personalise them to suit the specification of each client, before they are then shipped to the US.

“We are now one of the largest exporters of Land Rover Defenders to the US and Canada, and looking forward to travelling further afield to source yet more clients and cars in the upcoming year.”

David added: “Every member of our team of 12 is passionate about what we do. We love Land Rover Defenders and our passion means that every Defender is designed and delivered to the customer’s exact specification.”

As well as supporting trips to visit clients in New York and Nantucket, DIT has also supported the development of Sear Motor Holdings’ website, which enables clients to “build their own Defender”.

David said: “I would urge any business looking to break into overseas markets, to speak to DIT. Their support and guidance has been invaluable and helped open up a host of new markets for us.”

Director of International Trade, Julie Underwood, said: “The Defender is a much-sought after brand across the world and we are delighted to be able to help Sear Motor Holdings engage with overseas clients and make sure this British standard continues to conquer all terrains in every corner of the globe.”