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AM and IMI jointly launch People Conference

AM has joined forces with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to launch a new conference to help automotive business retain and nurture their greatest asset – their staff.

The AM/IMI People Conference takes place on June 12 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London, before our prestigious AM100 Dinner.

IMI chief executive Steve Nash, who also speaks at AM’s Aftersales Conference on Tuesday (8 April), will open the event at 10.00am.

Nash, a former BMW aftersales director and passionate advocate of structured and nationally recognised training programmes and investment in people as a way to ensure automotive retail continues to thrive in the UK, is a natural choice to jointly host the event with AM editor Jeremy Bennett.

As part of its bid to become the UK’s leading automotive brand, Vauxhall views its dealership network and the people in it as its cornerstone. The manufacturer launched a new management and leadership development programme in January to provide the 800 department managers across 260 core dealerships with the skill set they need to further boost retail business growth.

Chris Roberts, Vauxhall retail network development director, will take to the stage and provide an insight into how the brand identifies training and skills gaps as well as supports dealers to retain the best employees through its GM Academy and to gain nationally recognised qualifications.

Marshall Motor Group has undergone a massive transformation under the direction of CEO Daksh Gupta over the past five years from a regional, volume dealer group to an acquisitive national company with more than 2,000 staff and from a £250 million to a £1billion turnover. Gupta will explore how its people-centric strategy has been vital to its business success at the conference.

Peter Vardy’s holistic approach to business was one of the reasons the Scottish dealership group won this year’s AM Best Training Programme award.

Its ‘best place to work, best place to buy’ philosophy is underpinned by its academy which has ensured training is ingrained in the group’s culture.

Group HR director Huw Roberts will explain how the work of the academy has contributed to overachievement of business plans by 30% and return on sales just shy of 3% in his presentation which also includes best practise techniques.

GoThinkBig is an online digital hub ( launched by O2 and AM’s parent company Bauer Media to bring young people the insight, motivation and guidance on exciting work experience opportunities, valuable career advice, insider contacts and exclusive tips to launch them on the road to their dream career. Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, head of GoThinkBig, will show how delegates can tap into this pool of talent and how young people are essential for a company’s future performance.

The AM People Conference keynote speaker will be TV presenter Suzi Perry, who is currently covering Formula One for the BBC and the face of IMI’s Professional Register.

Tickets are available to dealers, manufacturers and automotive businesses, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133, email or visit

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