Exhausts Unlimited and Linco PLC
It all started from one depot in Norwich back in 1982 – a bespoke exhaust specialist offering delivery to garages and fitting stations in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridge with its 2 Renault-Traffics and a mini-van. Many will know the company as Exhausts Unlimited.
At that time, daily deliveries were a revelation to the trade, who had been used to weekly deliveries or twice a week at best. Now, nearly 40 years on, EU and Linco have 20 depots, over 200 staff and a huge fleet of 150 vehicles covering an area from North Lincolnshire to the Thames, offering hourly delivery to many areas.
Exhausts Unlimited were an innovator in the trade, being one of the first automotive parts distributors to utilise computers for stock management. EU introduced the ‘EGO’ computer system in late 1982. This proved to be an inspired decision, a great advancement on hand-written invoices and the cardex stock system.
As the exhaust market changed in the late 80s, an opportunity presented itself to purchase a general parts distributor in Colchester. In 2001 EU purchased Linco Plc, the addition of six branches in Lincolnshire further cemented the company’s position as one of the leading independent motor factors in the UK. Those branches, in Boston, Spalding, Lincoln, Horncastle, Grantham and Melton Mowbray are branded EU Linco.
EU Linco is still independent and operates as part of the Shortis Group.
“Without our excellent team of staff, many of whom have been with the company from the early days, we would not have been able to expand to become East Anglia’s number 1 automotive parts distributor.”
– Richard Shortis
The company which began life as a small exhausts specialist has now become a widespread one-stop-shop, stocking a comprehensive range of all automotive components.
2014 saw the Shortis Group celebrate its 50th anniversary. Kevin Shortis opened his first motor spares shop in 1964. Now covering an area from the Thames to the Humber – over 50 years on the Shortis Group is still independent, family-owned and family-run.