Peoples Group, the largest independent dealership in Europe selling only Ford cars and commercial vehicles, has appointed Nicola Gilda as strategy and operations director.
The Scottish-headquartered group says she has played a leading role in developing and shaping the structure and direction of the business since her appointment to its board 10 years ago.
Her appointment was announced as Peoples Group, at the 11 month point in its financial year, is on target for a fourth successive record-breaking year. The company has three dealerships in Scotland and four in the north-west of England.
Nicola (pictured) said: “I’m ready for the next set of challenges and shaping the business to be future-proof to meet the continuously evolving service and experience expectations of our customers.”
Peoples’ chairman and managing director – and Nicola’s father - Brian Gilda said: “Nicola’s objectives will be to deliver integration, synergy, efficiencies and above all, optimum performance in the sales, aftersales and specialist functions within the group.
“Her appointment will ensure there is continual progress in all aspects of customer handling and complete integration between the trading companies”.
“Working with your father offers no advantages and if anything only raises the bar of expectation. Nicola has not only delivered on those expectations, but has carved her own professional identity internally and also with Ford Motor Company and our other business partners.”
As well as spending five years operationally running one of the Peoples businesses in Merseyside from 2005 to 2010, Nicola has worked closely with Ford of Britain in its dealer councils and was recently appointed to Ford of Europe’s Consumer Experience Council. There she works alongside Elena Ford, vice president global dealer and consumer experience, and grand-daughter of Henry Ford II.
“With the ongoing introduction of new technologies, the customer’s journey to market is changing. At Peoples our primary objective is to ensure the customer experience during each of those digital and physical touch-points doesn’t simply meet the customer needs but significantly exceeds their expectations,” Nicola said.
Brian also revealed that with only one month remaining in Peoples Group’s financial year, turnover and profits are “excellent”.
He said: “Our car sales are up, commercial vehicle sales have risen hugely and our aftersales revenue and profits are also up. We’ve completed the expansion of our sites in Edinburgh and Liverpool to include the new Ford Stores and I’m delighted to say that our performance has, once again, earned us the Ford Chairman’s award for customer satisfaction.”
Peoples Group has seven Ford main dealerships, three in central Scotland and four in the north west of England.