AM Awards 2013 winners revealed

AM Awards 2013 winners revealed

21/02/2013 in Events, All News, Car Manufacturer News, Dealer News, Supplier News, Event News

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AM Awards 2013 winners revealed

Find out who took away the big prizes at the AM Awards from the event at the ICC, Birmingham.

You can view pictures from the night by clicking on the thumbnail gallery below or heading to AM's gallery section. Full winner profiles explaining why each company won their category will be included in the March 1 edition of AM.

Innovation Awards

Best Training Programme sponsored By: Black Horse
Winner: Kia Motors UK

Highly commended: Peter Vardy

Best Dealer Website sponsored by: RAZSOR
Winner: Mana Premiere Automobiles

Highly commended: Fords of Winsford

Best Digital Initiative Sponsored by: Auto Trader
Winner: Mercedes-Benz UK (My Dash)

Highly commended: Hendy Group

Best Marketing Programme
Winner: Lifestyle Europe

Highly commended: Grants Seat

Excellence in Business

Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by: EMaC
Winner: Cotswold BMW Cheltenham

Most Improved Company of the Year sponsored by AMi
Winner: Luscombe Suzuki Leeds

Sales Team of the Year (New or Used Cars) sponsored by: Barclays Partner Finance
Winner: Barnetts Volkswagen

Highly commended: Alex Lawrie Skoda

Excellence in Aftersales sponsored by: autotorq

Winner: Milcars Mazda

Highly commended: Celtic Mitsubishi

Manufacturer Awards

Used Car of the Year sponsored by: Car Care Plan
Winner: Range Rover Evoque

New Car of the Year sponsored by: Supagard
Winner: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Franchise of the Year sponsored by: Quindell Portfolio
Winner: BMW UK

Retailer Awards

Tyre Retailer of the Year sponsored by: Continental Tyre Group

Winner: Arnold Clark Automobiles

Best Used Car Performance sponsored by: Experian Automotive
Winner: Milcars Mazda

Highly commended: Fords of Winsford

Best Dealership sponsored by: The Warranty Group
Winner: Peter Vardy Vauxhall Motherwell

Highly commended: Cotswold BMW Cheltenham

Best Retail Group (up to & including 10 sites) sponsored by: RDS-Global
Winner: Lifestyle Europe

Highly commended: Spire Automotive

Best Retail Group (more than 10 sites) sponsored by: MAPFRE ABRAXAS
Winner: Swansway Garages

Highly commended: Day’s Motor Group

Headline Awards

Dealer Principal/General Manager of the Year 
Winner: Chris Eccles – Bowker BMW

Carmaker of the Year sponsored by: Allianz Global Assistance
Winner: Land Rover

Retailer of the Year sponsored by: Sunday Times Driving
Winner: Arnold Clark Automobiles

Personality of the Year sponsored by: Easi-Drive
Peter Vardy

AM Hall of Fame sponsored by: Contact Advantage
Ken Savage

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Lifestyle Europe

Lifestyle Europe is one of the most efficient groups in the AM100.

It regularly appears in the league table of the groups with the highest profit per staff member. In 2011 it achieved a figure of £9,061 and in 2010 £10,460 (top were Spire Audi in 2011 with £16,660 and Halliwell Jones Group with £18,092).

Lifestyle Europe also has amongst the highest return on sales, in 2011 3.4% (beaten by Westover Group at 3.5%) and in 2010 topped the league with 3.5% alongside Arnold Clark Automobiles.

2010 turnover was £108 million (2009: ££118m) on total car sales of 7,527 units and 553 LCVs from its 16 outlets, offering Ford, Renault, Mazda and Subaru new cars in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex areas. It also runs CarZone, a used car supermarket in Redhill.

In 2011, for the fourth year running, Lifestyle Europe won Retailer of the Year in the Automotive Management Awards.

The company also won Best Retail Group at the same event. In the same year, it was recognised by Ford, being awarded the Chairman’s Award for ‘outstanding customer satisfaction’.

Lifestyle Europe was formed in May 2001 in a management buyout of the Ford division of group HMG Holdings with three showrooms in Horsham, Redhill and Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Chairman and managing director of the new group were operational directors of the HMG Ford division.

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Profit before tax

profit guide


gearing guide

Barnetts Motor Group Ltd

Barnetts Motor Group is a new and used car dealer based in Dundee and St Andrews, specialising in the sale of Volvo, Mazda, Volkswagen and Peugeot cars as well as aftersales services and business vehicles.

It is also a Motability dealer.

All four brands are represented at its Dundee site and Volkswagen at St Andrews.

Managing director Paul Barnett founded the Scottish Motor Dealers Buying Group (SMDBG) in 2000 to enable operators to buy services in bulk with savings of around 5%, targeting everything not purchased through a vehicle manufacturer.

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Profit before tax

profit guide


gearing guide

Swansway Garages

Crewe-based Swansway is a family owned and run business that has been in the motor trade for more than 45 years.

It has the Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Honda, Land Rover, Citroen, Fiat and Peugeot new car franchises and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle franchise. It also has a contract hire business.

Its most recent brand additions were Citroen and Fiat in Chester, bought from Hartwell.

Swansway has 18 dealerships in the North West and Midlands. It also offer fleet sales, accident repair (at its Crewe bodyshop) and offers campervans for hire.

Chairman Michael Smyth runs the business, along with his three sons, Peter, David and John. Michael has over 45 years’ experience in the motor industry.

Swansway Group achieved 13th place in the 2014 Great Place to Work countdown.

It was one of just four automotive companies in 30 businesses in the large (500+ employees) category.

Swansway Group posted a pre-tax profit result of £5.1 million, up 57% for 2013.

Turnover increased from £290m to £370m in 2013 and return on sales (ROS) increased from 1.1% to 1.4%.

The group is a member of the used car sales website founded by Perrys’, Vertu Motors and Lookers’ senior executives.

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Profit before tax

profit guide


gearing guide

Mercedes-Benz UK

Mercedes-Benz’s ambition is to become the number one premium brand in the UK car market (fleet and retail), on the way to becoming the world’s best-selling premium brand.

These are courageous aspirations given how long it has lagged behind its rivals BMW and Audi. The growth will be fuelled by new products, many of which are compact and affordable, giving drivers an opportunity to own or lease a new Mercedes-Benz they might not have had before, whether because the cars were out of their budget or lacked the appeal to attract younger customers.

Cars such as the latest A-Class, the CLA four-door coupé and GLA crossover are all helping boost growth and with almost 110,000 registrations in 2013, it is gaining on BMW and Audi.

The Smart range is being relaunched with a new Fortwo and Forfour this year, based on a shared platform with the new Renault Twingo. This should create renewed interest in Smart as well as attract customers who might have outgrown their Fortwo.

Note: Manufacturers administer the franchised contracts for cars and LCVs in different ways. Broadly, for some the contract to sell cars and LCVs is managed through a separate dealer contract. For others one contract covers both vehicle types.

AMi seeks to acknowledge the difference and reflect it in the count of each dealer groups total franchised outlets (franchised businesses) and sites (locations).

Mercedes-Benz treats car and LCV sales as coming under separate contracts –AMi counts each individually.

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Land Rover

Several years ago, 4x4s were treated as a menace by some in the national media. Then the recession took hold, which could have spelled disaster for a four-wheel drive specialist, such as Land Rover.

But its foray into front-wheel drive SUVs, first with the Freelander, then with the ultra-successful Range Rover Evoque seem to have attracted new customers to the brand. Dealers, it seems, love it, with very high ratings in the NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey.

In the past 18 months, the two larger Range Rover models have been renewed with new, lighter aluminium vehicles, while Land Rover is seeking to capitalise on the Range Rover’s appeal as a bona fide luxury saloon alternative with a long-wheelbase version.

With registrations approaching 55,000 in 2013, and this year’s total looking likely to reach 60,000, all eyes will be on 2015 as the Discovery family is set to grow, adding a smaller model to replace the Freelander, while we should get our first glimpse of the long-awaited Defender replacement.

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Comments (1)

Killy - 100 weeks ago

I was at The AM Awards last night and I've got to say I'm amazed at Peter Vardy juniors profits for 2012! 3.5% ROS and £7million Quid!!! Wow !! Obviously a chip off the old block! I'm right in thinking he only bought Land Rover and Porsche at year end so that makes the result even more remarkable! Wake up Mr Hawthorne someone kickin ass in your backyard!!!!!

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