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AM Awards winner: Best Used Car Dealership (franchised), Marshall Mercedes-Benz Southampton

Richard Gough (second left), head of aftersales at Marshall Motor Group, and Bob Maxwell, general sales manager, Mercedes-Benz of Preston, received the award from Kevin Brockbank, (right), core sales director of Santander Consumer Finance

Marshall Motor Group’s Mercedes-Benz Southampton dealership impressed AM Awards 2021 judges after its workforce improved its performance despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.  

Take a read through AM’s citation to discover more about the journey the business went on and how it earned its Best Used Car Dealership (franchised) award win:

“As a business we use the same reporting tools as anyone else but what makes us different is that we are always looking at different ways of doing things. And we’re not scared of trying and failing,” says Mercedes-Benz of Preston general manager Richard Gough.

“As a result this dealership punches above its weight in terms of used car sales for the Mercedes-Benz franchise.”

He goes on to say how proud he is of his team and the dealership’s performance.

Gough, who won General Manager of the Year at the 2019 AM Awards, notes: “Our people have made all the difference and transformed our performance throughout the disruptions presented by the pandemic.”

During 2020 the dealership’s used car average days to sell key performance indicator (KPI) has improved from 23 to 17 days, sales volumes have doubled since 2017, profit per unit has improved by 28%, finance and insurance penetration remains good, and the dealership is in the Mercedes network’s upper quartile for customer satisfaction.

Stock turn focus came after Gough recognised it was taking up to 10 days from delivery, through preparation and photography, before used cars were being marketed. New processes addressed that, and improved the speed of responding to consumer enquiries.

With only 40 used car display spaces available, the dealership now focuses on replacing sold cars immediately.

As customers come in for test drives, the dealership offers to valet their part-exchange, appraise it and take high quality photographs there and then. It means that once the transaction is secured the part-exchange can be advertised more quickly.

Asking customers at home to video or photograph their own car is also speeding up the trade-in appraisal process.

Retailing suitable non-franchise part-exchanges was a differentiator for the business in 2020.

Previously traded out, such cars generated extra profits for the business after it was left with sizeable inventory of other brand trade-ins as the first COVID lockdown began. These now account for around one-in-six used car sales.

Highly Commended: Humphries & Parks

Award sponsor's comment

Marshall Mercedes-Benz of Preston is the 2021 winner of the Best Used Car Dealership Award, which is proudly sponsored by Santander Consumer Finance.  

Santander Consumer Finance believe that understanding what is important to customers helps deliver the right results and in turn ensures sustainability, this value is clearly shared by Marshall Mercedes-Benz of Preston and is demonstrated by their positive online customer feedback.  

The Marshall Mercedes-Benz initiative to create a people centric culture and operate as retailers who deliver retailing excellence and are regarded as an employer of choice, underpins everything they do and ensures the best possible outcome for their customers and at Santander Consumer Finance we share this vision.  

Congratulations Marshall Mercedes-Benz of Preston on winning Best Used Car Dealership, a truly well-deserved triumph. 


The latest AM industry special issue

The complexity of running a modern dealership can be misunderstood easily by people looking in on our industry.

Any general manager has so many plates to spin, and they must foster a talented team that they can rely on to not just do the basics well, but to sprinkle some magic on top that customers can notice.

If the marketplace in 2023 is steadily returning to relative normality, this normality now includes the drive to find customers for an increasing supply of electric vehicles, and the need to source used cars from all channels and market them carefully. And of course there are the desires to delight consumers with an omnichannel experience and to hold on to decent margins after a couple of years of strong profitability.

The expectations of both the customer and the business’s stakeholder must be achieved to the optimum level.

In this special digital publication, industry experts, prominent suppliers and franchised dealers share their insights on the major aspects required in running a modern dealership well.

Read now

Click here for used car best practice and procurement insight

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