Vertu Motors is set to invest £800,000 in electric vehicle charging facilities this year as it prepares for expansion of carmakers’ hybrid and electric car ranges.
Chief executive Robert Forrester told AM that Vertu’s property department has planned for each individual installation, in terms of the capacity and timing of installations.
The investment has already been signed off by the board. The rollout will correspond with carmakers’ own schedules for EV sales preparations.
“It’s a big amount of money, but clearly it’s important, and it’s tightly controlled,” he said.
He revealed the figure to AM after Vertu published 2018 financial results to the London Stock Exchange yesterday.
Asked how the company’s progress is communicated to staff, as well as the outside world, Forrester said a video presentation is published immediately after the financial results, and every dealership receives a copy of the financial announcement and presentation. Forrester will also present to more than 300 head office staff next week.
He added: “Every colleague has access to a blog from me every 24 hours, so they know where I am and what’s in my head at most times. Within the blog they know my views on most things.
“If you get a close relationship between the colleagues and the chief executive or the directors that is of immense help.
"For example, 97% of colleagues in our colleague satisfaction survey show they know the values, and 87% of them think the directors actively practice them. So I get emails. I got one last week – ‘I think you should know about this’, and I wrote back saying ‘you are right, thank you’.
Forrester handwrites about 20 letters per week thanking individuals in the company for their efforts.
“I think it’s important that people understand the personal motivations of the man who runs the company.”
For insights into how motor retail will adapt to new technologies such as electric and hybrid cars across sales and aftersales come to the Automotive Retail Congress on May 21. Click here for more details.