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AM Awards 2004 – the winners

AM Awards 2004 – the winners

Institute of the Motor Industry chief executive Sarah Sillars was named AM Personality of the Year. She was one of 15 winners at the AM Awards 2004 ceremony – attended by more than 920 people at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham on February 26.

Just two years into her role as IMI boss, Sillars is making a massive impact. She has reinvigorated an organisation that was until recently being written off as an irrelevant dinosaur that had lost touch with its core membership, motor industry employees.

Sillars is pictured receiving her award from John Bailey, chief executive of Manheim Europe.

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Other winners announced on the night were:

Retailer of the year

Beadles Group
The small retail group of the year becomes the AM retailer of the year. The reason is simple – this company has been a consistent profit performer thanks to its steady growth policy and tight management controls. Beadles is deservedly recognised as the AM retailer of the year.
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Carmaker of the year

Two years ago the Mazda factory took over the UK importership from MCL. That has proved to be the right decision. Sales last year were up 36% to nearly 38,000 cars and Mazda is delivering more value for its dealer network with outstanding models like the 6 and the RX-8.
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Large retail group

Reg Vardy
A true all-rounder, Reg Vardy has taken the step from being a good retailer to an exceptional one. It is the one national group where every individual dealership completely buys into the head office vision, as shown by the perfect score achieved in the independent audit.
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Small retail group

Beadles Group
Beadles understands the threshold for growth – strong management controls and a relentless focus on day-to-day profit. It has a good portfolio of franchises spread around a tight, manageable region and the judges believed it was creating more value for its shareholders than the other shortlisted entries.
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Volume dealership

Perrys of Rotherham
Last year's winner, Perrys of Rotherham, retains its title for outstanding sales figures and a superb financial return over the past 12 months. It has added a second franchise, Daewoo, to its massive Vauxhall dealership site, and looks set for an even better year in 2004. This business is the jewel in the Perrys' network.
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Small/niche dealership

Hodgson Newcastle (Mazda)
Hodgson Newcastle Mazda has survived the ups and downs of the change in importer and is now thriving. Its profits have been reinvested to enable the Hodgson Group to open other dealerships in the city which is a testament to the strength of the business.
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Used car retailer

Available Car
Available Car impressed the judges with its focus on new technologies, including a popular website which has a virtual showroom, exellent stock turn and commitment to sourcing the right cars for the right audience.
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Manufacturer used car scheme

This was a close contest, but Seat stood out after a complete transformation in its used car scheme over the past couple of years. It has gone from making a loss 2000 to profit after Seat improved its stock management. Dealers have completely bought into the concept and it is helping to improve residual values, which is good for the customer. Seat's used car scheme is benefiting both dealer and customer.
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Manufacturer fast-fit programme

Ford Rapid Fit
Ford's Rapid Fit business was a revelation when it was launched in 1992 and it remains the dominant manufacturer fast-fit scheme today, helping to dealers to win back business on older cars from the independent repairers. With a mature business and support structure, Rapid Fit is a creditable brand in its own right. Dealers support it because they make money from it.
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Nationwide Crash Repair Centre (Boston)
Part of the 60-site Nationwide network, Nationwide Crash Repair Centre Boston has been a top performer for many years. It makes the most of being part of a group by exploiting the efficiencies while turning an excellent return on sales. Its performance over the past 12 months makes it a clear winner.
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Nationwide Autocentres
Last year's winner makes it two years in a row. Managing director Tom Dunn really does have the Midas touch, turning loss making outlets into profit earning in record time. Nationwide is now closing in on 200 outlets, and bases its successful strategy on giving customers the service and level of attention they need to secure their loyalty.
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The Epyx 1Link system is a true problem solver – it delivers a solution to both the customer and the repairer by enabling online job authorisation. It does what e-commerce should do – make the process faster, easier and more consistent.
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The Car People
The Car People has understood the real purpose behind marketing – it's not just about advertising. The company analyses its franchised dealer competitors, it has studied the demographics and lifestyle of its local customer base and it sets aside a large slice of its revenue for marketing purposes. Branding, advertising, the internet and direct mail all play a part in its marketing mix, which is designed to appeal as much to women as men.
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The Audi Academy is a mature, well-established programme held in high esteem by the dealer network. Rated consistently the top Audi department by dealers, the Academy spans all aspects of training and people development, including recruitment and selection. The amount invested in the Academy as a proportion of Audi's share of the UK market exceeds most of its rivals.

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