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Adam Hewitt

Thornton 4×4 Breakers: Doubling eBay Sales, Expanding Legacy, and Uplifting Sales through New Website

Since its founding in 1987 by owner Peter Jones, Thornton Breakers has been a cornerstone in the automotive parts industry. What began as a modest venture in Thornton, focused on breaking cars, vans, and 4x4s for parts, evolved into a thriving business catering specifically to the demand for 4×4 parts by 1998. This transition marked the beginning of a journey toward specialisation and growth.


Thornton 4x4 Breakers - Doubling eBay Sales, Expanding Legacy, and Uplifting Sales through New Website p one
The Jones (L-R), Courtney, Peter, Cameron and Hollie

Peter’s son, Cameron, joined the family business, contributing to its evolution as he grew older. Alongside Cameron, Peter’s eldest daughter, Hollie, stepped into administrative and advertising roles, spearheading the company’s transition into the online marketplace as internet commerce gained prominence.

In 2010, recognising the need to accommodate the business’s expansion, a second site was acquired in Halifax. For two years, Thornton Breakers operated from dual locations, with Cameron overseeing one site and James boasting over 20 years of experience with the company, managing the other. Peter, the patriarch, divided his time between both sites, ensuring operational excellence and continuity.

By 2012, the Halifax site underwent expansion, prompting the consolidation of operations and the closure of the Thornton yard. This consolidation marked a significant milestone in the company’s journey, solidifying its presence and paving the way for sustained growth. In 2015, Thornton Breakers transitioned into a limited company, with Peter, Cameron, and Hollie assuming director roles. Subsequently, Courtney, the youngest daughter, joined the team in 2018, focusing on social media management and advertising campaigns.

Thornton Breakers remained committed to delivering exceptional service and quality parts throughout its evolution. With facilities equipped to offer collection and fitting services for engine, gearbox, axle, and chassis replacements, Thornton Breakers positioned itself as a one-stop destination for automotive needs. Moreover, their dedication to quality assurance is evident through their rigorous testing processes and warranty offerings, ensuring customer satisfaction and peace of mind.

Expanding beyond national borders, Thornton Breakers caters to a global clientele, shipping parts to destinations such as Malta, the USA, Greece, Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, and beyond. Whether it’s a single part or a container load, Thornton Breakers prides itself on its ability to meet diverse customer needs with efficiency and expertise, backed by over three decades of industry experience.

In the competitive landscape of online auto parts sales, efficiency is paramount. For Thornton 4×4 Breakers, maximising sales on platforms like eBay is crucial for business growth. Recently, they implemented Eladene Systems, a comprehensive management solution tailored for automotive businesses. The results? A doubling of their eBay sales and a significant boost in operational efficiency.

One of the most significant impacts of adopting Eladene Systems was the automation of eBay listings. Previously, creating and managing listings was a manual and labour-intensive process, consuming valuable time and resources. With Eladene’s integration, Thornton 4×4 Breakers could now effortlessly list their extensive inventory on eBay, complete with accurate product descriptions, pricing, and images. This automation saved time and ensured consistency across all listings, enhancing the company’s brand image and customer trust.

Moreover, Eladene Systems facilitated seamless order fulfilment by automatically syncing eBay orders with Thornton 4×4 Breakers’ inventory. This real-time integration eliminated the risk of overselling and minimised the likelihood of shipping errors, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and retention. Additionally, the platform’s reporting and analytics tools provided valuable insights into sales performance, allowing the company to make data-driven decisions and further optimise its selling strategies.

Thornton 4×4 Breakers recently launched a new website to complement their success on eBay, further enhancing their online presence and customer reach. The user-friendly interface, comprehensive product listings, and easy navigation have contributed to an uplift in sales. Customers now have a convenient platform to explore Thornton 4×4 Breakers’ extensive inventory and make purchases with confidence.

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In addition to their online presence, Thornton 4×4 Breakers runs their own delivery vans, ensuring timely and reliable delivery of parts to customers. Furthermore, they offer large bulk export services, catering to clients worldwide. With over 300 pickups on-site at any given time, Thornton Breakers maintains a vast inventory to meet the demands of its diverse customer base.

Today, Thornton 4×4 Breakers stands as a testament to resilience, innovation, and adaptability. The recent integration of Eladene Systems has facilitated a doubling of eBay sales. Coupled with ongoing expansion initiatives, the launch of a new website, and robust delivery and export services, the company continues to write its success story as a leading specialist dismantler in the automotive recycling industry.


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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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