|Barnetts MD James Brown, centre, with Sophie Raworth and The Warranty Group’s Serkan Obuz|
Barnetts Volkswagen does everything right. From a vibrant and modern showroom and excellent customer care to great staff morale and financial results, it ticks all the boxes of what a modern dealership should be.
One may think that having won the AM Sales Team of the Year award last year, Barnetts Volkswagen would stick to the winning formula. However, with a constant aim to improve, managing director Jim Brown made decisions that have led to even higher sales and better customer care.
The moves changed the longer-term strategy of the sales team from one of focusing on the output to focusing on the input.
As a result, CSI scores are in the mid-90s and the dealership is among the top 10 in Volkswagen’s UK rankings.
The showroom regularly hosts a couple of children’s parties each weekend for free. At the end of each party, Barnetts presents the birthday boy or girl with a number plate bearing their name and age. If that was not enough to give the site a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere, people can bring their dog as well, with a water bowl and dog chews available at reception.
The dealership’s financial performance impressed the judges and auditors. In 2013, Barnetts Volkswagen achieved record turnover, up 11% on 2012. It achieved a 3.8% net margin with net profit up by 31.3%, well above the average for any dealership giving a return on sales of 3.2%. All departments contributed to the improvement.
The dealership made brave decisions in 2013 for long-term growth, they are a pillar of the local community (the business sponsors local sports clubs and events) and go the extra mile to ensure that once someone buys a car or service, they are members of the Barnetts Volkswagen family for life.
Highly commended: Williams Automobiles
Also shortlisted: Bentley Surrey; Bolton Kia; Leicester Audi; Peter Vardy Perth
Previous winners: Strathmore Motors - Volvo (2011); Cross Roads Garage (2012); Peter Vardy Vauxhall Motherwell (2013)
Category sponsored by The Warranty Group.