Marshall Motor Holdings chief executive Daksh Gupta is set to reflect his “most challenging period in car retail” and reveal his approach for 2021 as one of the sector leaders speaking at Automotive Management Live Virtual.
Joining a packed schedule of seminars, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities at the online event, taking place on January 20 and 21, Gupta will join Peter Vardy Group chief executive Peter Vardy as one of two retailers to be interviewed by the AM team in a morning webinar slot across the two days.
Vertu Motors CEO Robert Forrester is also among the event’s roll-call of high-profile speakers, which can be found by clicking here.
Gupta will be interviewed by AM news and features editor, Tom Sharpe, from 9.15am on January 20 before taking questions in a Q&A in which he’ll also be joined by author, the chief executive of Gaia Innovation Ltd and founder of the Automotive 30% Club, Julia Muir.
Register for Automotive Management Live Virtual by clicking here.
AM100 PLC boss, Gupta said: “2020 was a hugely disrupted year for everybody and there is no playbook available to tell you how to handle a situation like this.
“I think we were one of the first businesses in the sector to shut, ahead of the March 23 announcement from the Prime Minister. People were scared. To make that call, I think, is pretty brave.
“As the year unfolded and click and collect started in May and we all experienced that massive pent-up demand.
“I think we sold 3,700 cars without a customer taking a test drive in 2020. That’s incredible, it’s massively down on the 19,000 we sold the previous year, but it shows how customers’ attitudes have changed.
“Throughout the whole year I think you have to be positive and keep your people ‘up’. That’s really contributed hugely to the wellbeing of our people and the momentum that the business has been able to maintain.”
Gupta proved to be one of the sector’s most communicative leaders during 2020, becoming a key industry commentator for national media outlets while updating and reassuring staff with more than 50 video presentations.
Taking time out to chat with AM about the evolution of the business during the unprecedented period of change in next week’s interview he will also look ahead to post-Brexit trading, the increased digitalisation of car retail, growing EV sales and life after COVID.