In less than a week’s time, I will be bidding farewell to AM after a decade of working on the publication and moving across to edit our sister newspaper Fleet News.
Will I still get phone calls and letters from dealers, manufacturers and suppliers unaware that I have made the switch? Hopefully people are paying attention!
My last hurrah, as it were, will be the AM Awards at the ICC in Birmingham on February 25. Then it’s goodbye dealers, repairers and bodyshops; hello fleet managers, leasing directors and transport managers.
I’d like to indulge a little in this last column by thanking everyone who has helped me to shape AM over the past decade, and in particular during my six years as editor. Colleagues past and present, and countless personalities from the industry have all played their part. Thank you for your support.
I’ve met hundreds of dealers, repairers and bodyshops, each of whom has had an interesting story to tell, each of whom has helped me to better understand their industry; I’ve had the opportunity to question almost every UK carmaker managing director on their retail policies; and I hope I’ve written the odd article that has helped you to work that bit more effectively.
I’ve also been engaged in some dealer-fleet conflict; reacting when, a few years ago, Fleet News demanded a fairer deal from dealers for its readers with the counter argument that dealers needed a fairer deal from fleets.
I leave as the industry faces some immense challenges, ones that not every company will survive.
But there are plenty of outstanding businesses, which are playing vital and valued roles in their local communities, and they will continue to drive this industry forward.
AM will continue to play its role in supporting your industry by providing news, insight, advice and best practice.
My best wishes to all of you for the future.