On Monday 6 December, NFDA’s Dealer Spotlight initiative returned for the second time, with a trip to Romford Mazda. The dealer visit facilitated a sit down with Dealer Principal, Amarjit Shokar, and provided an insight into the operations of his dealership and collaborations with NFDA.
Established back in 1992, Romford Mazda is the second longest serving Mazda dealer in Essex. The Shokar family acquired the business in 2007 and have since gone from strength to strength. The dealership has 26 employees in total, who all contribute to the functionality of the branch.
Mazda recently quoted: “[Romford Mazda are] an enthusiastic team committed to delivering excellence, coupled with an open management-style, the respected family-run dealership has earned a reputation for delivering great customer service and experiences”.
Our visit with Amarjit delved into several topical discussions, one of which being how his business has adapted through the COVID-19 pandemic. During covid, Romford Mazda adopted all necessary precautions to ensure that the safety of staff and customers was at the forefront of business decisions, while ensuring that everyone felt welcome. They also supported customers who needed to service their cars and were facing financial difficulties during the pandemic.
The current market for dealers was also discussed. For Romford Mazda, new car sales have remained stable, despite the supply issues the industry are facing. Amarjit further explained how customers are accepting of the delays in new cars As long as his staff communicate clearly that the current shortages are widespread, customers understand the situation and most often return to the dealership to complete their purchase.
Additionally, Romford Mazda has recently obtained their Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) Accreditation and discussions helped to understand how best to publicise his EV Approved status.
Finally, Amarjit regularly attends the NFDA South Regional Meetings and provided useful feedback for the NFDA with regards to future lobbying efforts that would help his and other dealerships in the sector.
Glyn Hopkin’s Head office
On the same day, NFDA continued its Dealer Spotlight campaign with a visit to Glyn Hopkin Group’s Head office in Romford. This dealership is home to several franchises including Nissan, Fiat, Jeep, Abarth and Alfa Romeo. Here we were introduced to Glyn Hopkin’s Sales Director, Shab Chowdhury, who provided us a tour of their dealership, helping us to understand the ins-and-outs to the largest independent Nissan Dealer Group in the UK.
Shab informed us that this site was first opened in 1993 and since then, the Glyn Hopkin Group has grown to become one of the UK’s largest and most successful automotive dealership networks. The group now operates over 50 sites across the Southern region and employs over 750 staff. This specific dealership in Romford is home to around 170 of their total employees.
The dealership tour started with their showrooms, Shab provided us with insights into consumer buying trends as well as their Aftersales and Workshop departments to get a glimpse of their technicians working on customers cars.
Our tour continued upstairs towards the offices. Initially met by the directors’ lounge which featured artwork, a collection of vintage car models and motor industry awards accredited to Glyn Hopkin Group. A brief look around the subsequent departments followed, including a finance department, customer service department, call centre and more, all contributing to the 170 employees in the building!
As a whole, NFDA was pleased with its visit to Romford and greatly appreciated the time both Shab Chowdhury and Amarjit Shokar took from their days to make us feel so welcome.