Battery industry entrepreneur Chris Taylor died on September 17, surrounded by his family. He was 66.
One of the UK aftermarket’s most influential characters in the 1990s and 2000s, Chris Taylor’s early passion was not figures on a balance sheet, but football. Indeed, he had been a player with Manchester City’s junior team while still at school.
However, at school leaving age, the real world came calling and Chris landed a job at Chloride Gaedor, which at the time was a subsidiary of the FTSE-listed Chloride Group, owner of household brands including Dagenite and Exide.
Working from the ground up, Chris started in the warehouse doing a number of roles, including the hair-raising task of replacing cells in dead batteries (which he later described as a job only given to the most ‘expendable’ employees), he was soon promoted to the trade counter where he discovered the main areas in business that interested him were sales and marketing. Described as a ‘straight talking Lancastrian’ and someone that could be ‘trusted implicitly’ in business, it came as no surprise that more promotions followed.
He was a sales manager, then a branch manager (at the Bolton branch), and finally the northern divisional manager. He also had a seat on the Board by the time he was in his mid twenties.
His flair and entrepreneurial style led him to leave and found (with Stuart Dale) Northern Batteries, later National Batteries. Chris sold National Batteries to Exide in 1998 and was employed by Exide for a period of 18 months to oversee the amalgamation of their acquisitions.
In 2002 he founded a new business called UK Batteries. In 2005 UK Batteries acquired two businesses. The first was ABS Power Systems and the second was Platinum Batteries. Chris described the Platinum acquisition as the ‘most impactful’ as the name resonated strongly with customers. It gave the business a brand that it developed and very quickly Platinum became the largest battery brand in the U.K.
Platinum International was acquired by the Alliance Automotive Group UK in 2018, and Chris’s comment on this acquisition was that business had ‘found the best long term home for the business’.
Although retired from Platinum, he kept himself busy with his residential and commercial property businesses from his home. Chris Taylor made an impression on everyone who knew him and will be much missed by family, friends and former colleagues.