Chorley Group recognised the electric vehicle (EV) market was rapidly evolving so decided to position itself as a source of critical information on the subject, reaching way beyond its Lancashire base to sell EVs as far afield as Croydon, Edinburgh and Leicester.
EV mentoring was the idea of the five-site, four franchise business’ innovation development manager Miles Roberts, who saw the opportunity to “cut through the noise” to offer customers a simple, informative and confidence-inspiring service.
He took up the role of dedicated hybrid and electric vehicle specialist, leading a programme with staff across the group’s franchises, allowing on-the-road and workshop training, including on the new electric MG ZS, simulating, as far as possible, the ownership experience.
With the backing of the business he worked with every employee to allay fears and showcase the rapid growth of EV technology, enabling them to become an advocate to customers of the technology.
Roberts works without a sales commission and acts as an impartial mentor to buyers, working with them to build trust and allow them to accurately understand every aspect of EV ownership. He also delivers vehicles across the UK, recharging on the way, before carrying out the handover. Roberts is then available for follow-up questions and concerns.
Furthering the business’ reach, social media and forums are used to promote EV and hybrid ownership, share knowledge and answer questions on EVs in the Nissan, Hyundai, Kia and MG ranges.
It means EV and hybrid sales have resulted from recommendations from customers and across a wider motoring community.
Chorley Group has seen hybrids and EVs make up as much as 10% of new car registrations in a quarter.
The judges said Chorley Group, and Roberts, epitomises the requirements of this new award category – an idea or innovation from a dealer’s member of staff that simplifies processes, saves time or money or exploits an opportunity.
Highly commended: Helston Garages' key tag maps
Finalists: Chorley Group’s electric vehicle advocate; Helston Garages’ key tag maps; Perrys Motor Sales’ messenger bot
Award sponsored by: CDK Global