NFDA members Jardine Motors Group and Sytner Group employees were recognised among winners of Autocar’s Great Women Rising Stars 2021.

Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars 2021, an initiative run by Autocar in association with the SMMT, celebrates the “up-and-coming stars of the British automotive industry”.

The winners are selected from the following areas of the car industry: aftersales and workshop, design, manufacturing, marketing, mobility and digital solutions, operations, people development, PR and communications, purchasing, sales and vehicle development, apprenticeship.

Samantha Anscombe, Mercedes-Benz qualified partners advisor at Sytner Mercedes-Benz of Swindon, won the “Aftersales and Workshop Award” which was virtually handed by NFDA Chief Executive, Sue Robinson.

Samantha started as an apprentice in 2017 and quickly impressed her superiors, winning Mercedes-Benz’s apprentice of the year in 2020.

She is now a fully qualified parts advisor, helping colleagues and customers with parts identification, searching and sourcing. Her initiatives include working out where showroom traffic was busiest to better place accessory display cases, resulting in a successful change of layout. Her dedication is such that in 2019 she won employee of the quarter for assisting a “challenging” repeat customer find parts for their classic car, who then left her a great review for her hard work.

Her qualifications include three IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) diplomas, and she has just started a university degree course in psychology and counselling.

Natalie Wheeldon, Marketing Manager at Jardine Motors Group, Audi division, won the “Marketing Award”.

Natalie’s 20-year career at the Jardine dealer group began in sales admin and she has risen steadily within the company, through database admin and customer retention before moving into marketing, where she works to improve the visibility of the group’s 14 Audi dealers. One of her successes has been to boost the dealers’ social media following from 4,500 in 2015 to 85,000 in 2020 by coordinating their content via WhatsApp. She has also introduced an effective FCA financial advertising due-diligence process to improve advertising quality. Jardine’s head of divisional marketing, Alison Fowler, praised her effectiveness, saying she has a “wealth of knowledge” about the Audi brand.

The overall winner was Hannah Denton, Area Fleet Manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Denton started at Volkswagen in 2011 as an area sales development manager for VW’s Trade Parts Specialists in Leicester and progressed to a head office role as key account manager just 18 months later.

She moved to her current role in 2015 where she acts as a bridge between van fleet customers and the VW Commercial Vehicles brand, matching customer requirements with products and services.

View the full list of winners on the Autocar’s website: