Marshall Motor Group secured the AM Awards 2021's Best Dealer Group (More Than 10 Sites) award after staying true to a strong code of ethics without sacrificing commercial success.
“Our last private owner, the late Michael Marshall, was passionate about his business being ethical with the right values and culture,” the group said in its entry.
“Despite our exponential growth, these remain our touchstones.”
Following its 2015 public offering and the acquisition of around 170 businesses since 2008, Marshall showed that employee welfare is among its top priorities at the most testing of times.
Prior to COVID-19, the group had already moved as many meetings as possible on to Microsoft Teams to improve managers’ work/life balance.
When dealerships were closed in March 2020 and 80% of staff furloughed, chief executive Daksh Gupta began hosting weekly video updates to employees.
More than 50 videos had been issued by May last year and they continue today, including shout-outs for colleagues and – during lockdown – especially those with cancelled family events such as weddings.
Marshall delivered profitability in 2020, a 5.3% revenue decline coming alongside pre-tax profits up 3.7% at £20.4m in 2020.
In May this year, after embracing an automotive retail recovery in H2 2020 and making a strong start to 2021, Marshall repaid £4 million in Government support.
And as senior management declined their 2020 bonuses, it issued a backdated pay review for more than 4,000 staff – handing its lowest earning staff a 4% pay rise – along with a “loyalty bonus”.
The business, which achieved Great Place to Work status for an 11th year and was named a Best UK Workplace for a seventh time this year, is working to introduce greater diversity to its workforce.
In 2015 only 15% of its executive committee, PLC board, operating board and senior functional heads were women. That figure is now 31.7%.
And for the first time in 2021 its Future Leaders Programme features more women than men, without the need for a quota system.
“They have achieved all these places through ability,” the group says.