It’s some forty three years since John Alec Nicholson started Jansvans from his home on the Isle of Skye, selling caravan parts. Today’s diverse business operates from substantial premises in Portree, with thirty staff, a retail store, plant and vehicle hire, a conference venue and the landmark Red Brick Cafe. It was a natural progression, with the market on the island largely comprising crofting, farming and gamekeeping, to move into selling and servicing All-Terrain Vehicles and so began the new diversification with Polaris, Europe’s No 1 off-road vehicle manufacturer.
As authorised Polaris dealers, Jansvans offer the Sportsman models, the world’ biggest selling ATV and the Rangers, the Side by Side utility vehicles with the capabilities of a quad and the creature comforts of windscreen and cab options; and the facility of carrying passengers with two, three, four and six-seater options. Jansvans founder John is still involved in the business today, with his son, Donnie Nicolson, a co-director.
“We first saw and talked to Polaris at the Royal Highland Show and we really liked the brand,” says Donnie. “Richard, the District Sales Manager came to see us and we attended a Polaris open day in Stirling and my father and I were both very impressed with the vehicles. We knew they would be right, not only for Skye customers but across the West Highlands and the other islands.” Among their customers is a substantial order from the Skye Mountain Rescue for the 6 x 6 Polaris Ranger models, specially modified for medical facilities with two stretchers and full searchlights.
Jansvans will hold a Ride and Drive Day on the 12th April from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. on grounds adjacent to the Portree premises, where customers can test drive Polaris ATVs and UTVs and take advantage of special offers and a free prize draw.