February is awards month at AM, and it is little surprise that the list of the winners was the most read story (although this was exceeded by the gallery of images from the evening).
The headline awards saw Rockar win Digital Retailer of the Year; Neil Hodgson, Perrys Worksop, was named Dealer Principal/General Manager of the Year; Volvo was Manufacturer of the Year and Sytner took home the Retailer of the Year. Sytner's Darren Edwards was named Business Leader of the Year and Jack Tordoff, the chairman of JCT600, was inducted into the AM Hall of Fame.
February also brought the tragic news of the death of Lookers Mercedes-Benz sales executive Stuart Hill, in a helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon.
In Westminster, MPs called for the return of Motability scheme funds to the Treasury after it emerged that the charity was holding on to £2.4 billion after “decades” of underspending.
Dieselgate and its associated scandals rumbled on, with the suspension of senior staff at BMW and Daimler following the testing of diesel emissions on monkeys in the US. Volkswagen had earlier suspended its chief lobbyist, Dr Thomas Steg, over the matter. The British Government opened consultations on a change to the law that would hold vehicle importers and dealer-distributors to account if vehicles are sold with emissions defeat devices.
Acquisitions in February included Stoneacre's purchase of the Nottingham-based Chris Variava dealership complex and the Burrows Motor Company's Hyundai and Fiat franchises in Sheffield; DM Keith added Honda to its portfolio with the acquisition of Westgate Motor Company; while the Motorline dealer group took over the operation of Rockar's Hyundai shopping centre stores.
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