Franchised and independent car retailers across the UK are being urged to celebrate their successes in a COVID-impacted 2020 and boost the morale of their workforce by entering the AM Awards 2021.
After a year that saw car retailers successfully pivot to online retail and remote sales methods to weather the coronavirus storm, and with numerous dealer groups exhibiting a level of financial resilience exhibited by few business sectors, there is no better time to celebrate our sector.
Entries are currently being accepted for 19 awards categories – four of which are new to the event – and dealers are being urged to get involved before the May 24 deadline.
AM Editor Tim Rose said: “The challenges of the past year have presented the automotive retail sector with the toughest trading conditions since the World War Two.
“As businesses across the sector acted fast to adapt to new ways of working and dealership staff showed staggering levels of resilience and flexibility, however, it seems the sector is now emerging from the pandemic with positivity.
“We’re looking forward to once again getting together with retailers from across the UK at our awards event on September 8 and recognising the successes of 2020, while looking forward to a positive end to 2021.”
Among the new categories launched for the AM Awards 2021 are accolades for the UK automotive retail sector’s Best Apprentice Programme and Best Finance/Leasing Brokerage.
Those awards line-up Best EV and Best EV Dealership categories which have been introduced to help recognise the impressive work of retailers in driving electric vehicle sales in what it’s a period of accelerated transition towards zero-emissions for the sector.
Alongside the AM Awards 2021’s existing retailer categories – including Best Sales Team, Best Used Car Dealership, Best Dealer Group and, key in 2020, Best Online Consumer Experience – entries for the new awards will be audited by AM Awards partner BDO before being pored over by AM's panel of judges, overseen by independent chairman Christopher Macgowan OBE.
This year also sees the introduction of AM’s news and feature editor, Tom Sharpe, to the judging panel.
He joins AM editor-in-chief, Stephen Briers and editor Tim Rose, ICDP managing director Steve Young, Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) chief executive Steve Nash and Professor Jim Saker, director of the Centre of Automotive Management, Loughborough University’s Business School.
Tom Sharpe said: “After what has been such a tough year for businesses and individuals, I can’t think of anything better than the opportunity to get together once again and celebrate the success of the sector.
“I’m looking forward to judging the entries, but perhaps the celebration on September 8 even more so.”
The deadline for awards entries is May 24.