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AM conference: essential information for dealers

Today's challenges facing automotive retailers are examined at a conference organised by AM. The conference takes place on Wednesday June 25 2003 at The De Vere Belfry Hotel Wishaw, Warwickshire and is sponsored by Grant Thornton.

A conference debating key automotive issues.

National, regional and compact franchised dealer groups are facing a raft of challenges and opportunities as automotive retailing reacts to new Block Exemption, other EC/UK legislation and further consolidation.

For this conference, we have arranged a line-up of experienced and influential speakers to analyse factors causing concern to dealers and suggest courses of action.

Continuing change is the only certainty in the UK retail motor industry as manufacturers consider how to react to Block Exemption. Dealer bosses will need to be more nimble on their feet than ever, and important strategic judgements are better taken after listening to other viewpoints.

This conference is geared to the needs of franchised motor retailers.

Why you should attend:

  • An explanation of consumer legislation impacting on dealer group profits
  • An appraisal of manufacturers' pan-European retailing policies
  • Business opportunities, from the viewpoint of groups of different sizes
  • Guidance for franchised bosses planning expansion
  • Advice on controlling costs and improving efficiencies

Conference speakers and topics

##Trevor Finn--left## Trevor Finn is chief executive of Pendragon plc, the UK's largest dealer group, which has expanded into the US and Germany. Finn will give his views on likely further consolidation within the UK automotive retail sector and believes size of turnover creates the strength essential for future motor retailing success.

##Pat Conway--left## Pat Conway is chief executive of Kent-based Whitehouse Group, AM Award winner as its first retailer of the year. Conway says: “Too many dealers are fixated with turnover on the belief that size brings economies of scale.”

##Peter Sexton--left## Peter Sexton is managing director of AM's small dealership of the year - Meadens of Sway has a single Seat dealership in Lymington, Hampshire. He is convinced there is a future for small motor retail businesses if all members of staff are dedicated to quality service.

##James Muir--left## James Muir, managing director, Mazda Motors UK, is leading the revival of the brand based on new product, headed by the Mazda6. He will address the conference on how an ambitious car maker evaluates its retail network and potential recruits.

##Dr Mark Whitton--left## Dr Mark Whitton, director of automotive market analyst R. L. Polk, will speak on the importance of accurate data and profiles of potential customers and outline work carried out for the Scottish group Peoples prior to its expansion into Merseyside.

##Piers Trenear-Thomas--left## Piers Trenear-Thomas, client service director, Grant Thornton Motor Retail (AM's partner in collating the AM100) will suggest business tactics for dealer groups of varying sizes.

##Paul Jordan--left## Paul Jordan, director, Capital Bank Motor, will spell out the far-reaching implications of new rules relating to the sale of insurance by dealers, and the potential effect on profits. “Dealer bosses who know about it are concerned”, he says.

##Garel Rhys--left## Conference chairman: Garel Rhys
Garel Rhys, motor industry professor at Cardiff Business School will brief delegates on European manufacturers' trends influencing UK automotive retailers.

Additional speaker
AM awaits final confirmation of a speaker who will address delegates on the importance of finance and insurance sales for dealer groups of all sizes.

Followed by the AM100 Dinner (Sponsored by Grant Thornton)


Guest speaker at the AM100 Dinner is Sir Tom Farmer, founder of Kwik-Fit and one of the retail automotive industry's most respected figures. Ford Motor Company bought the group Sir Tom built and later sold it at a loss. Diners can expect a taste of Sir Tom's robust views about the way companies should be run. For more than a decade, the AM100 Dinner has marked the unveiling of the retail motor industry's most influential annual appraisal. Those attending the dinner will be the first to see the 2003 listing and accompanying analysis and data.

Grant Thornton Motor Retail will reveal trends behind the figures and explain how they will affect dealer groups.

Now book your place

Ticket prices

  • Conference: £195 + VAT
  • Conference and dinner package: £240 + VAT
  • Dinner (individual ticket): £75 + VAT
  • Dinner (table of 10): £700 + VAT

    Click here for a booking form (pdf format). Print it off, fill it in and fax it back to 01733 468346. A member of the events team will call you to confirm your booking.


    Call Sandra Evitt, Events, Emap Automotive
    T 01733 468123
    F 01733 468346

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