Hi, I’m Simon Manis and I run Switching Sides Ltd a small family business which is focussed on offering a bespoke and very personal service.
I’ve always had a real passion for cars, particularly sports cars.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to spend lots of time in the west coast of America where my now late father lived. I saw some beautiful, European cars that you rarely would see in the UK or in Europe, as a commercial hobby I became involved with sending a few of these cars back to Europe.
In 1995, I made a trip with a friend to Tokyo, where we both bought Mazda MX5 (Eunos) sport cars for own use, the savings were fantastic and I saw an opportunity to capitalize on the geographical pricing differences on these cars between Japan and the UK.
In 1997 came the creation of Car Import Solutions, where clients were offered a bespoke ‘hand holding’ service to get the car of their dreams whilst saving money at the same time.
A year later, prior to the introduction of the Euro in Europe, I became involved in the championing of the ‘Rip off Britain’ campaign which amongst other things, highlighted the huge pricing differentials between new car prices in the UK and in mainland Europe. As ‘an industry expert’ I was used in a handful of radio and press interviews. I became the ‘no fee’ broker, my clients were able to pay main dealers in Europe directly and then either collect their cars directly from the dealer or I would arrange delivery. I handled the necessary registration paperwork in all instances and my remuneration always came from the supplying dealer, so it was a very transparent service.
In 2005 came the creation of Switching Sides which became Switching Sides Ltd in 2007. At this time, the pound was strong, as was the UK economy and there was a property boom across Europe. Everyone wanted a second home in the sun. Spain, France and Portugal were locations being favoured by Brits. Switching Sides Ltd had the contacts across Europe through our sister company and was able to offer very competitive, new and used cars for these clients. Left hand drive (LHD) cars were shipped from northern to southern Europe. Subject to clients’ needs, these vehicles were put on UK, Spanish, Portugese or French plates.
Today, we find ourselves in a very different financial landscape. I still concentrate all my efforts on finding good value new and used cars for clients making the move to Europe and other LHD environments. I’m also are very active buying cars from people that are returning to the UK. Now, more than ever clients want a professional, transparent bespoke service and at the same time great value for money - this what I am aim to deliver.