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AM Awards 2010: The search is on for the industry's best

The build-up to the 2010 AM Awards starts now with twenty-one chances to collect a coveted AM Award as new categories are introduced for 2010.

Quick links:
Auditor - MSX International
Innovation category
Excellence in business category
Aftermarket category
Manufacturer category
Retailer category
Headline category
Sponsorship opportunities 

The recession is challenging our assumptions, our business skills and our creativity in ways we never thought would be possible. Many companies have struggled to meet the challenges, a growing number have simply been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the downturn. The desire to celebrate might be in short supply.

But a crisis is exactly the right time to acknowledge the industry’s finest: to succeed during the hardest of times is surely the greatest achievement. The recession has made us all work harder, be more creative and resourceful with the challenge no longer to prosper, but to survive. To do both now is an incredible achievement. AM believes the industry should shout its successes out loud.  Previous award winners have benefited from the increase in exposure the accolade brings with it. It is also a way to publicly acknowledge the hard work of your staff.

Winning will mean raising your profile in the industry. The resulting publicity could also boost consumer confidence in the sector at a national level. 

And confidence, as every industrywatcher has been saying for so long now, is critical to setting the sector on the path to the good times. 

Awards schedule

Today - Enter your application now - click here for your entry form
October 30 – Entry deadline
November 2 – December 24 – auditing by MSX International
January 18 – Shortlist announced
February 17 – AM Awards take place in Birmingham

Auditor - MSX International

MSX International is the AM Awards’ auditor once more. Every day its hundreds of
consultants are visiting dealerships across the UK and for the first time this year they will be looking out for potential winners in each of the categories as they go about their business. 

They will be passing on the information to AM. We will then invite the named companies or individuals to enter the awards. In this way you can expect the entries to be more wide ranging than before and a much more complete representation of the market.

Combining information from visits with a follow-up call once the company has entered to look deeper into its performance and planning abilities, MSX International will then carry out a full audit of shortlisted companies focusing on key areas of the business, including planning, financial performance, people management and customer relationship management.

See the next page for the twenty-one categories

AM Awards 2010





















The 2010 AM Awards categories - Innovation

Best Training Programme
Last year's winner: Colin Appleyard Cars
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Training is crucial to continually develop your staff. Training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. In addition to the basic training required for a trade, occupation or profession, there is a need to continue training beyond initial qualifications to maintain, upgrade and update skills throughout working life, i.e. to aid continual professional development.
 

Best Environmental Policy
Last year's winner: Gladwins Body Repair, Peterborough 
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While environmental concerns have been overshadowed by the recession, it will continue to grow in importance and one that will increasingly be at the forefront of customers’ minds. How businesses tackle environmental issues will impact on their long-term success and profitability, not to mention their legal obligations in the face of growing legislation.


Best Marketing Programme
Last year's winner: Nationwide Autocentres
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Marketing is about more than just advertising your business. It’s an ongoing process of planning and executing the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) for
products, services or ideas to create exchange between individuals and organisations.
Marketing includes advertising, distribution and selling.

It is also concerned with anticipating the customers’ future needs and wants, which are often discovered through market research. Essentially, marketing is the process of creating or directing an organisation to be successful in selling a product or service that people not only desire, but are willing to buy.

Therefore good marketing must be able to create a “proposition” or set of benefits for the end customer that delivers value through products or services.
Without a cohesive marketing programme, any company will struggle to attract new business.

 
Best Dealer Website
Last year's winner: Autoquake
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Having a strong profile online is vital in the modern sales environment. It is often the first place your customer will look when researching their next car purchase. The website is a crucial marketing tool that should bring in a significant proportion of your leads.

The 2010 AM Awards categories - Excellence in Business
 

Excellence in Customer Service
Last year's winner: Dingles Motor Group
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Audited by: MSX International
Customer service is one of the most important issues facing retailers, repairers and bodyshops. Outstanding customer service is crucial to the long-term success of any business.
Happy customers will be loyal to the business and they will tell others about their positive experience – the best form of marketing.

Given the importance of customer service, programmes and initiatives that work deserve recognition and this award is designed for that purpose.
The award will recognise the most successful attempts to improve customer service from any retailer, repairer or bodyshop.


Best Community Initiative
Last year's winner: Sytner Group
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This category recognises dealers, repairers or bodyshops which are at the centre of their local community. These companies support local initiatives; they are pillars of society.
They are working hard to improve the image of the motor industry which is having a positive impact on their sales and on their ability to attract new staff. They are giving something back to the community.@@banner@@


Most Improved Company
Last year's winner: Now Motor Retailing
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Audited by: MSX International
Every business can go through a rough patch if the eye is taken off the ball – what’s key is how the business reacts. This award recognises those companies that have put in place a recovery strategy that has borne the right results. It is open to dealers, repairers and bodyshops.


Employer of the Year
Last year's winner: Motability Operations
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Customer loyalty, satisfaction and, ultimately, your business profits all stem from how you, as the employer, treat your staff. Motivated, happy staff will go the extra mile when dealing with customers. This award will recognise and honour outstanding employers in the motor industry.


The 2010 AM Awards categories - Aftermarket

CastrolBest Aftersales Operation
NEW category
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Audited by: MSX International
Service and repair is one of the most profitable parts of the motor industry and it’s also one of the most competitive with franchised workshops slugging it out with independents for business. Only those companies that offer value for money and high levels of customer service will succeed. This category is open to franchised workshops & independent authorised repairers, either individual site or complete network.


Bodyshop of the Year
Last year's winner: Solus Norwich Union
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Audited by: MSX International
Body repair is a challenging business with low margins, large-scale consolidation and pressure from insurers. But there are plenty of companies that have the innovation, determination and quality to succeed and this award is intended to recognise them. Open to franchised and independent bodyshops, either standalone or part of a network.

See the manufacturer awards on the next page



The 2010 AM Awards categories - Manufacturer


Used Car of the Year

Last year's winner: Toyota Aygo
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This category considers used cars aged six months to three years. It takes into account the quality of cars, how well they have retained their residual value, the strength of manufacturers’ used car programmes and level of engagement from retailers, and use of remarketing. Additional judging comes from car pricing guide Parker’s.


New Car of the Year
Last year's winner: Ford Fiesta
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Innovation, quality and a money maker for dealers are the key watchwords for the AM new car of the year. Finalists will all have been launched during 2009. They will have made an immediate impact on the market by moving on the segment while dealers will be able to exceed targets without discounting. Quality will be exceptional, driving performance will impress and the car will be designed for maximum appeal.


The 2010 AM Awards categories - Retailer


Best Used Car Retailer
Last year’s winner: Wokingham Motors
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Audited by: MSX International
More profitable than new cars, used cars is a competitive part of the market fought over by franchised dealers, car supermarkets and independents. This award is open to any company that sells used cars (franchised or independent) and is intended to recognise those who have turned the practice into an art form – not to say a hugely successful and profitable business.


QBEBest Dealership
Last year’s winner: Crown Honda
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Audited by: MSX International
This category recognises a business that achieves success across all the critical disciplines – new car sales, used cars and aftersales – and for which customer and staff satisfaction is essential. It is open to single-site owner operators and to best performing dealerships with a larger group network – both single-franchise and multi-franchise showrooms.


Best Retail Group (up to 10 sites)
Last year’s winner: Lifestyle Europe
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Audited by: MSX International
The motor retail industry is made up primarily of smaller, regional groups. This award category is designed to recognise and honour those companies – ones with up to 10 dealerships. Entrants will be able to show how they meet the AM Awards’ original criteria of quality, innovation and service and how they have tracked their performance improvement over the past five years. A copy of the most recent full company accounts will be required.


Best Retail Group (more than 10 sites)
Last year’s winner: Arnold Clark Automobiles
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Audited by: MSX International
As the industry consolidates, retail groups are getting bigger. This award recognises the unique complications and complexities that come from co-ordinating a large retail group, one with more than 10 dealerships. Entrants will be able to show how they meet the AM Awards’ original criteria of quality, innovation and service, and how they have tracked their performance improvement over the past five years. A copy of the most recent full company accounts will be required.



The 2010 AM Awards categories - Headline


Carmaker of the Year
Last year’s winner: Kia Motors (UK) 
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When deciding the finalists, the judges look at new model launches, relationships with dealers and sales successes. The winner will be excelling across all the criteria. They will be developing and launching innovative products that change the market; they will be working in partnership with their retail networks, supporting them during difficult periods and helping them to make more money; and they will be able to point to the success of products and retail relationships through growth in new car sales, control of the used car market and a strong aftersales proposition.
 

Retailer of the Year
Last year’s winner: Arnold Clark Automobiles
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This award is given to the best retailer in the UK. The four winners from the retail categories – large retail group, small retail group, dealership and used car retailer – go head to head to decide the winner. Quality, service and innovation are the maxims for this category.
AM Rising Star Who in your business is the industry leader of tomorrow? 

The Rising Star Award recognises the individual in your company who has shown commitment, determination and initiative in equal and unlimited measure. They can be in any part of your business and at any level. What’s important is that they are making his or her mark in their respective discipline. The recipient will be nominated, interviewed by the judging panel and then decided by the editor of AM, Jeremy Bennett.


Personality of the Year
Last year’s winner: Marc Matthew 
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This award is presented to the person who has had the biggest impact on the motor industry during the previous 12 months. Their contribution will have made a significant positive impact to the way companies do business or to the way the industry is portrayed to the public. The recipient is decided by the editor of AM, Jeremy Bennett.
 

AM Hall of Fame
Last inductee: Paul Williams 
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Each year the ‘AM Hall of Fame’ recognises someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the automotive industry during their career. Not only will they have led a hugely successful business, but they will also have raised professionalism in the industry, and helped improve its image. Without them, the motor industry would be a poorer place. The recipient is decided by the editor of AM, Jeremy Bennett.

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