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Hippo Motor Group scoops hat-trick of awards during growth drive

Awards winners (from left): Hippo Motor Group group managing director Tom Preston; sales manager Crystal Elwell and project manager Alistair Eddleston

A trio of talented car retail sector employees from Hippo Motor Group have scooped a hat-trick of accolades at an annual business awards event.

Sales manager Crystal Elwell, project manager Alistair Eddleston and group managing director Tom Preston scooped Rising Star of the Year, Employee of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year trophies at the Hive Blackburn and Darwen 2022 Business Awards

Held at St George’s Hall, Blackburn, this month’s event celebrated the best business talent from the automotive retailer’s home city.

“It was fantastic to celebrate Blackburn’s successes with fellow local businesspeople who have a shared passion for the area, and it was good to hear about exciting plans for the town’s future growth and development.”

In August AM reported that Hippo Motor Group’s headcount had exceeded 300 for the first time as it targets growth.

That news was followed by the appointment of three senior marketing specialists to the business.

Established as Hippo Motor Group in 2007 by Tom and Richard Preston, the business is now comprised of four businesses with an overall turnover of £120m and growth plans to reach a £250m turnover in the next three years.

Elwell started at Hippo working on reception in 2016 and had her eyes firmly set on a career in sales.

She went from receptionist to junior underwriter to sales account manager within two years, before moving up to senior sales account manager prior to her promotion to sales manager in March.

Eddleston’s award came after he and his colleague Matt Doney saw COVID-19 as an opportunity to digitise and automate Hippo's underwriting services in order to expand their capacity.

His efforts resulted in the business being able to automate 80% of its credit check process via its CRM system, Hippo Fuse – saving the business £150,000 per annum.

Preston said: “Seeing Crystal’s and Alistair’s achievements recognised among our regional business peers was incredibly rewarding.

“Both have shown determination and passion that has since been recognised with internal promotions and we are certain of greater things from them in years to come.”

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