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AM Awards 2014 - Best Retail Group (up to & including 10 sites): Peter Vardy

Peter Vardy group finance director Claire Maith, right, with Sophie Raworth and MainDealerOffers MD David Timmis
Peter Vardy group finance director Claire Maith, right, with Sophie Raworth and MainDealerOffers MD David Timmis


Scottish dealer group Peter Vardy has more than doubled in size in the past five years through organic growth and acquisitions and has remained profitable throughout. The 10-site motor retailer has five Vauxhall dealerships, and one each for BMW/Mini, Jaguar, Land Rover and Porsche.

Privately owned, the £300 million turnover group headed by 35-year-old chief executive Peter Vardy focuses on values-driven leadership, ambitious performance objectives and a strong sense of purpose and engagement. Its business plan is based on top quartile performance in all areas. Performance is tracked daily, with weekly forecasts and monthly operational reviews. ‘Red alerts’ are generated if any aspect falls below 80% of target.

  AM Awards 2014 winner logo    
  Best Retail Group
(up to & including 10 sites)

The company has five annual goals: remaining a best place to work; being a best place to buy; being a top quartile performer for each manufacturer; achieving 150% of the business plan; and giving back 10% of profits to worthwhile community causes.

As an indication of the value Peter Vardy places on its people, a ‘rookie academy’ provides four weeks’ training to salespeople and service advisers and monthly ‘training Thursdays’ bring department managers together to foster competitive best practice and drive increased performance. It has also gained accreditation for its sales process from Edinburgh Napier University.

Managers are paid off the dealership bottom line rather than their department’s, to encourage growth in financial acumen and overall business contribution rather than pit one department against another.

Dealerships remain closed on Sundays, prompted by employee feedback on work/life balance. Customers supported this decision and happier teams have sold more cars.

Peter Vardy recently opened its first CarStore used car supermarket, which aims to make buying a car a relaxed experience. The Glasgow site includes customer lounges, a café, a play area for children and an enclosed vehicle handover area.

Highly commended: Arbury Motor Group.

Also shortlisted: Beadles Group; Bowker Group.

Previous winners: Essex Auto Group (2011) Spire Automotive (2012) Lifestyle Europe (2013).

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