An endlessly enquiring mind and a determination to improve drove Mark Squires to launch innovative programmes and practices at his family’s motor retail business, Benfield, which have since become commonplace in our industry.
He led Benfield, in both executive and non-executive roles, until its sale to Lookers last year.
Squires built the business in financial and geographical terms to become one of the leading operators in the North East and, importantly, one with an outstanding reputation for customer service.
Squires was involved in a number of innovations in Benfield’s online capabilities, the integration of online and offline processes, staff development and internal culture. Aftersales call centres, sales support teams, extended ‘lifestyle’ test drives; 12-month warranties on all used cars and the ‘Open Road’ 30-day no-quibble exchange offer were some of Squires’s innovations at Benfield.
He was also an active member of the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) executive, with a particular focus on aftersales. He no longer works in motor retail, but chairs the NFDA’s aftermarket working group and is involved in research into consumer perceptions of franchised dealers.
Squires is a voracious reader and a seeker of improvement insight that often took him around the world, but he still found time to be heavily involved in charity work. He often used his holiday time to support the Benfield Charitable Trust, which supports causes local to Benfield businesses as well as charities overseas.
2015 Gerard Nieuwenhuys, Sytner
2014 Peter Jones, Lookers
2013 Ken Savage, Perrys