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AM News Show: 10 minutes with RJTK Automotive MD Darren Bradford

AM News Show podcast: Darren Bradford, managing director, RJTK Automotive

Newly-promoted RJTK Automotive managing director Darren Bradford told the AM News Show that he has “a lot up my sleeve” for 2023.

In an exclusive 10-minute sit-down with AM editor Tim Rose and news and features editor Tom Sharpe, Bradford revealed that galvanising a new team spirit across the whole workforce will be among his top priorities.

Bradford’s new role sees him oversee the operations of Vauxhall retailer Wilson & Co as well as Drayton Motors’ Kia, Maxus and Suzuki dealerships and he suggested that building a strong team is as vital as upcoming showoroom developments.

“I’m a great believer that business is not difficult at all", he said. "It's all about the people, giving them clear and simple instructions and processes and making sure you look after them. The rest follows."

“I’ve got quite a lot of things up my sleeve this year but it’s not always about the monetary value, it’s the delivery that counts.”

He added: “Delivering what I promise, making sure if I say I’m going to do something first of all – can finacially afford to do that even if I stress test it, even if we turn down the performance of the business by 30 or 40%. If the answer’s yes, then I’ll promise it.

"There’s nothing worse than u-turns, saying I’m going do do something and then not following it through.”

Bradford featured alongside former Inchcape chief executive James Brearley and RSM head of auto Alison Ashley in a recent episode of the AM News Show.

Interviewed by AM for a dealer profile feature during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has previously emphasised Drayton Motors’ aim of looking after its staff with multiple awards from AM’s Best Dealerships to Work For scheme.

Now his aim is to grow the wider, £120 million RJTK business while extending the same values to its workforce.

A full review of staff benefits has already been implemented, with improvements on the way, while Drayton’s annual Distinction Awards will be rolled out across the whole group this year, Bradford said.

Commenting on the operational priotrities for the year, he added: “This year is all about stability and getting back to basics and making sure that the areas of weakness are strengthened as we cash-in on the areas of strength. There’s a hell of a lot of work for me and my team to do.”

The AM News Show is produced in partnership with Armchair Marketing. Click here to access other episodes from the series via AM Online.

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