In November 2002 the company was approached by Daewoo and asked if it would consider representation in Rotherham, a town in which the carmaker had been present prior to receivership. Perrys had a facility at its Rotherham operation that could accommodate the franchise consisting of a showroom and workshop facilities. The company saw an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands.
“The early days were very difficult with very distressed customers having to travel large distances to honour their warranty cover, a major parts supply problem and a very damaged brand,” says Darren Ardron, general manager of Perrys Rotherham “Through sheer dedication and hard work from all the staff we tackled these difficult months while still achieving a profit.” Like all major organisations, the dealership implemented a business plan for 2003, which was challenging, especially with the uncertainty of the Daewoo brand, now owned by General Motors. It also adopted a structured marketing plan, which included local newspaper and radio ads, direct mail campaigns as well as business evening and customer events. These included forming partnerships with local police authorities to promote safer driving that ultimately resulted in a local customer winning a car.
Perrys also formed partnerships with the local Chamber of Commerce and allowed its facility to be used as a venue for local business user evenings and ladies evenings.
The most recent partnership formed was with the local Trading Standards Office. Through a series of audits and checks carried out last year, it now recommends Perrys of Rotherham to all its members and the general public as a professional organisation and allow the dealership to promote this within its business.
All these initiatives helped Perrys of Rotherham to grow new car sales by 4% at retail level and 66% at business level compared to 2002 figures, together with an increase in used car sales of 22%. Overall profitability just for the Vauxhall business grew by 94% on an improved turnover of 39%.
And as a combined operation including Daewoo, turnover improved by 51% and net profit grew by 190%. Customer service is one of Perrys' strong points. Every customer is sent a thank you letter and questionnaire after purchase asking for their comments. This information is collated and used where necessary to look for improvements while customer issues are handled by the management team at the dealership and are reviewed regularly.
So what does the future hold for Perrys of Rotherham? “We have now set ourselves another challenging target for 2004 and with the right application will achieve it. On top of this we maintain and look to develop our staff, which in our opinion is the best investment we can make to continue this success for the future,” says Ardron.
Perrys 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.