The search has started for Britain's finest companies operating in 12 key sectors of the automotive industry. Winners will be honoured at Automotive Management's Awards 2002 dinner at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, on February 13.
Mitac Performance Development will for the first time conduct quality audits of the short-listed companies and its team of assessors are specialists in relevant categories.
For a decade, the AM Awards have been the ones to win in the retail motor industry and their scope was widened two years ago to include a category for manufacturers. The awards have a special place in the UK motor industry calendar and the depth of competition has intensified over the years.
They provide an opportunity for franchised dealership businesses of all sizes, specialists such as training companies and manufacturers (with their retail networks) to go for gold.
Automotive Management has always selected the short-list for the large dealer group category and, for next year's awards, we will also nominate businesses in the other market sectors. Companies will still be able to submit entries if they wish.
Tony Willard, editor, Automotive Management, who will chair the judging panel, said: “Each year, we have seen companies worthy of a place on the short-list not entering for the AM Awards.
“There is an understandable reluctance among some people to put themselves forward as worthy of success. For one thing, smaller firms find it difficult to assess their chances – they don't want to enter unless they believe they have a chance.
“I'm confident people will formally enter if they know AM's senior editorial team – which includes sector specialists – believe they are worthy of consideration.”
A franchised business that has raised its standards through a long-term or one-off training programme.
A single dealership or dealer group which has displayed a different and successful approach to the aftermarket needs of its customers.
A bodyshop or group of bodyshops which is part of a franchised group or an independent business.
Used car retailer
A franchised dealership or group which has created and seen through a programme finding particular success in used car retailing in the 12 months to 1 September 2001.
A dealership or group which has shown the ability to find a novel approach which works in advertising or public relations nationally, regionally or locally.
Manufacturer of the year
The winner will be the manufacturer or importer which in the year to 1 September 2001 has demonstrated the greatest innovation in caring for its customers directly or via the dealer network.
A dealership or group which can show how imaginative use of electronic technology has grown sales or improved customer relations, either through a website or other enterprise.
New start business
A single dealership or a dealer group that has either started operations or changed ownership since 30 June 1999.
Small dealership of the year
A single dealership, or one outlet in a group, retailing fewer than 1,000 units a year, that has shown exceptional and imaginative qualities in selling new and/or used cars.
A single franchised dealership, either standalone business or part of a group, retailing more than 1,000 new/used cars/LCVs.
A group with new car franchises at between three and nine dealerships on 1 September 2001. The entry should relate to the performance of the group as a whole rather than one specific dealership.
Large dealer group
Multi-franchise groups selling new cars (and possibly also commercial vehicles), with 10 or more locations on 1 September 2001.