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VW Group boss works as Inchcape technician and service adviser for Comic Relief

Volkswagen Group UK managing director Simon Thomas has spent a day working as a technician and aftersales adviser for Swindon Audi to raise money for Comic Relief.

Thomas had offered his services for a full working day to whichever retailer in the Volkswagen Group made the highest bid. A pledge of £20,000 saw Inchcape-owned Swindon Audi win the auction.

After donning his workshop outfit, Thomas started his day with a pre-delivery inspection (PDI) on an S8, under the watchful eye of Swindon Audi technician Adrian Vines.

He then went on to record a video-based inspection of an owner’s car using the brand’s Audi cam technology. Thomas then embarked on a stint in the aftersales department, where he was tasked with handling customer calls, before returning again to the service bays for more work.

Thomas began his career in the motor industry with a four-year apprenticeship in automotive workshops.

He said: “It’s been 28 years since I was last paid to fix cars.

“I was an apprentice from 1976 to 1980 and then served as a qualified technician for a further five years before moving over to the manufacturer side.

“The technology I’ve been dealing with today is light years ahead of what I worked with back then, so I've learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. It's great that this 'back to the floor' idea ended up raising a significant amount of money for Comic Relief.”

The donation made by the Inchcape Group – owner of Swindon Audi – will be matched by Volkswagen Group United Kingdom, taking the total contribution to £40,000.

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  • Tractor Boy - 15/03/2013 11:06

    Might do a lot of management from car manufacturers a bit of good to spend time in dealerships, bit more than a day would be preferable.

    • Ian Beautement - 16/03/2013 14:26

      @Tractor Boy - I agree very much. Nice to see large companies doing their bit for an excellent cause though.

  • Roger - 17/03/2013 12:39

    Good for Simon that he has made this connection. A few years ago everyone at VW Group MK was involved in an initiative called 'Working At The Sharp End' This involved visiting a retail dealership and meeting with staff and customers to see what it all looked like. It had quite an impact as I recall.