Car dealers celebrated in Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For rankings – AM Online

Porsche Retail Group, TrustFord and Motorpoint were all recognised among the UK’s top employers in the annual Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For rankings.

TrustFord finished 20th in the top 25 Big Companies to Work For listing, making the grade for the fifth year running. TrustFord said that it continuously invests in the training and personal development of its people at all stages, highlighting a recent partnership with the Prince’s Trust to offer fifteen 18-30 year olds the chance to undertake free training and become a Technician at one of their sites, in celebrating its ranking.

TrustFord chairman and chief executive, Stuart Foulds, said: “We are extremely proud to have been listed as a Sunday Times Best Big Company for the fifth year in a row. This award recognises the commitment of the TrustFord team to providing an engaging environment in which our colleagues are able to thrive.

“A dynamic, talented workforce is essential if we are to remain at the forefront of an ever-changing automotive sector. Even when faced with a tough business climate, we will continue to invest in growing and retaining the best people so we can share in our success together.”

Sharon Ashcroft, HR director at TrustFord, said: “We are delighted to be listed as a Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For again. Survey engagement increased to a fantastic 82%, a real achievement that reflects increasing pride in the business and gives us a solid insight into what our colleagues are thinking.

“It is a huge pride point for us to be listed, but it is most important for us to use the results to keep on improving the working lives of our TrustFord Family.

“Every year, the survey informs the decisions we make as we try to create an even better place to work. We aim to foster a caring and honest culture where everyone feels motivated, valued, rewarded for their efforts and, importantly, able to enjoy work.”

JCT600 appoints Richard Hargraves as new managing director – AM Online

JCT600 has promoted operations director Richard Hargraves to the post of managing director, praising his “nurturing” approach and his “key role” in the growth of the Bradford-based car retail group.

In his new role Hargraves will work closely with chief executive John Tordoff and support the operations board in managing the AM100 group’s 48 dealerships, which span Yorkshire and the North East, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Glyn Hopkin invests £1m in flagship FCA Group VR concept store – AM Online

Glyn Hopkin has invested over £1 million in a new flagship retail store which incorporates virtual reality (VR) to handle sales for FCA Group brands Fiat, Abarth, Jeep and Alfa Romeo under one roof.

The 300 square metre new format of retail facility, on London Road in the AM100 group’s home town of Romford, Essex, makes it possible to house all four of the car manufacturer’s brands under one roof with the help of virtual reality (VR) technology.

Glyn Hopkin's latest dealership opening comes as part of a recent growth drive which has included the opening of the group's first Kia franchise, in Romford, the addition of three further MG Motor UK franchises in St Albans, Cambridge and Milton Keynes and a new Mitsubishi Motors in the UK dealership in Chelmsford.

The technology at its new FCA Group facility in Romford showcases the entire FCA range via the simulated technology with physical demonstrators also on hand to ensure that customers can experience their product of choice.

Thanks to VR, customers walk around of their exact specification of car, and even jump in the driver’s seat to view a full range of colour and trim swatches from inside their virtual car…

Inchcape forecasts ‘modest’ fall in profits in 2020 – Motor Trader

Inchcape is forecasting a ‘modest’ fall in profits in 2020 following disposals last year and any impact from Coronavirus.

The dealer group turned in a ‘resilient’ performance in 2019 with pre-tax profits down -6.9% to £326.3m on turnover up 1.1% to £9.4bn. In the UK the group disposed of some dealerships that were unable to deliver scale efficiencies and also Inchcape Fleet Solutions (IFS).

It said fleet remained important for the group but its focus was on distribution where it had end-to-end control of the market. Inchcape said that must because it was selling retail sites in any given territory did not mean it was exiting that market.

Stefan Bomhard, group CEO of Inchcape said: “We expect challenging market dynamics to continue through 2020, particularly in Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile, although we are encouraged by the outlook for our European businesses.”

Stoneacre powers ahead with profits of £13.9m – Motor Trader

Stoneacre turned in a strong performance in the year to 28 April 2019 with pre-tax profits up 31.2% to £13.9m on turnover up 24.9% to £982m. The results include the contribution of £75m turnover and £442,000 profit from Mill Garages North East. During the year it added a Volvo dealership in Sheffield, a Renault Dacia franchise in Blackburn and MG in Hyde, Rochdale and Doncaster.

Stoneacre increased like-for-like new car sales by 9.8%, used vehicle sales by 14.5% and fleet and commercial sales by 24%. The group continues to push hard on aftersales and now has 37,600 service plans in operation. Service revenues grew 15.5% and department profitability by 9.7%.

Sytner Group’s Sheffield dealership is BMW UK Retailer of the Year – AM Online

Sytner Group’s Sheffield BMW franchise claimed the German premium car brand’s UK Retailer of the Year title at its prestigious 2020 awards ceremony.

The sprawling 200,000 square-foot BMW and Mini retail facility, which was opened by the AM100’s top ranked retail group in December 2017, claimed the top accolade as a total of 15 awards were handed out at the event, which was held at Old Billingsgate Market, in the City of London.

As well as claiming the Retailer of the Year award, Sytner’s Sheffield site also won the award for aftersales performance as the group as a whole claimed the award for Marketing to make it a hat-trick of award wins on the night.