What are the main responsibilities of your role?
Probably the most important is to develop a network of viable and sustainable dealers, to provide a high level of market opportunity coverage that ensures the brand can continue to grow its presence in the UK. There needs to be enough opportunity for every dealer and new appointments need to cover key locations without affecting the current network.
What are the most significant challenges ahead in your field of work?
There was an existing dealer network in place when I joined and many of the early appointments were not necessarily in the most strategic locations. If you had a blank canvas, you wouldn’t necessarily choose to locate dealers where some of these sites are.
Those dealers have done a great job for MG in establishing a foothold in the UK, we want to continue to grow with them and at the same time accommodate new dealer partners that are now knocking on our door and that could provide a solution to representation in what we see as key locations. Our model line-up is constantly growing and the showroom space we need for this is also getting bigger – some of our dealers will need to expand their premises.
How might these challenges be overcome?
Carefully! Thankfully, the past couple of years will have been profitable for most of the current network. They will realise the significant untapped potential with the brand and have the motivation and resource potential to provide the showroom space to display the expanding vehicle range. Some of our location challenges are in more expensive metropolitan territories, but we are starting to hear from dealers looking for another profit opportunity to bolster income from existing brands that are not doing well. In addition, regional dealer groups are taking a very keen interest in the brand.
What attracted you to this area of expertise?
I have been fortunate to work in several different sectors within our industry. I have worked in retail, in sales and sales management, I have worked for vehicle manufacturers in small and large fleet roles and in regional sales and aftersales territory roles and spent some time working with a leading industry body. During this experience, I saw that network development provided the ideal mix of sales and operational challenges with plenty of other opportunities for personal development. It’s probably one of the best jobs in our industry.
What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career, and how have you made use of it?
Relationships are key to absolutely everything, people buy from people, products to some extent are secondary. I’ve attempted to be honest and transparent with internal and external stakeholders such that I would never be concerned about bumping into someone that I had worked with at any other time in my career.
What drives you?
Just to do the very best that I’m capable of and to be respected for it.
What’s your favourite app?
Without question, Spotify. I like music from so many different genres and Spotify provides a great platform to access that at any time and on so many different devices, too.
How do you relax?
Listening to music obviously, but I still go to a fair number of concerts each year, so often the live performance is much more entertaining than the music itself. I play cricket – the bowling gets slower with each passing year and I’m still striving to get higher up the batting order, but it’s a great chance to unwind in a team environment. I’d always played golf but when I started playing cricket 13 years ago I realised how much more enjoyable it was playing sport as part of a team.