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Meridian Motor Group appoints brand director

Yorkshire-based Meridian Motor Group, which trades under the Vantage brand, has appointed Jon Banner as brand director for its Toyota and Lexus centres.

Previously general manager of network development at Toyota GB, Banner will be responsible for managing 10 Vantage Toyota Centres and one Lexus dealership across North Yorkshire, East Lancashire, the South Lakes and the West Midlands.

Banner said: “I’ve worked with Meridian managing director, Mark Robinson for the past 10 years and I’ve watched the group grow from two Toyota centres to the size it is today.

“During this time I have always been extremely impressed with Meridian’s values, their focus on delivering complete customer satisfaction and their strong relationships with manufacturers.

“This role represents a new personal challenge for me and an exciting opportunity to work with Mark to develop Meridian and to take the business to the next level.

“My background and knowledge of Toyota will give me a unique insight into how to meet both dealer group and manufacturer demands, and I will be building on Meridian’s excellent track record and ensuring that all areas of the business perform to the highest standards. Although I’ll be travelling regularly between each of our centres, I’m also looking forward to being based in my native Yorkshire again.”

One of Banner’s first tasks will be to bolster the senior team in the recently acquired Birmingham dealerships to help meet customer demand.

He will also focus on maintaining Meridian’s aftersales performance ensuring that standards are consistent across the business.

Robinson said: “I am very pleased to be able to welcome Jon to the business and I am sure he will have an immediate impact as we look to consolidate after a period of very rapid growth.

“I’ve known Jon for many years. He is highly knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of the motor industry and his insight and leadership will be a real asset to our business.”

Banner has spent his whole career in the motor industry starting as a sales executive in motor retail and holding a number of senior roles with dealer groups before joining Toyota GB in 1996.

In the past 12 months, Meridian Motor Group has increased annual turnover to over £200m, and increased the number of sites from seven in Yorkshire and Lancashire, to 18 across the North of England and the West Midlands.

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