The Inchcape Lighthouse - born from a Pioneering Spirit
Inchcape lighthouse lies out to sea off the east coast of Arborath, Scotland, It stands on one of the most treacherous submerged reefs in the northern hemisphere and is one of the seven wonders of the industrial age.
Robert Stevenson, a pioneering young engineer, overcame many obstacles to build a lighthouse on Inchcape rock that had claimed over 100 lives. It was completed in 1811 and is still standing today saving lives.
100 years later, inspired by Stevenson’s pioneering spirit, James Lyle Mackay when awarded a title for his services to industry became the first ‘Baron Inchcape of Strathnaver’ and named the company that he founded after the rock – Inchcape.
Inchcape - Diverse & Worldwide
Many of the companies that now make up part of the Inchcape group can trace their roots back to merchant partnerships founded in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Persian Gulf, East Africa, India, China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Mackay, who inherited a prosperous shipping and overseas trade company in Scotland, went to India in 1874 to work as a clerk for a firm of traders and shipping agents. The company was engaged in a diverse range of industries - trading tea, sugar and textiles, insurance and banking and eventually was managed by Mackay.
Inchcape - shaping for the future
It was Mackays’ grandson the 3rd Lord Inchcape who brought the widespread family businesses under one holding company - Inchcape & Co Limited, which was the forerunner of the present Inchcape group that was floated on the stock exchange in 1958 and became a PLC in 1978.
At the end of the 1990s the Group became focused purely on the automotive industry which paved the way to Inchcape being one of the leading vehicle distribution and retailing companies in the world today.