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Tributes paid after death of JCT600 chairman Jack Tordoff

Jack Tordoff, chairman, JCT600  left, is inducted to the AM Hall of Fame, collecting the award  from Katie Rugen, UK automotive sales team lead, Shell UK

The family and workforce at AM100 dealer group JCT600 are mourning the death of its chairman Jack Tordoff OBE at the age of 86.

A statement from the business today announced "with great sadness" that he "passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 3, following a lengthy illness".

Tordoff, the father of JCT600's current chief executive John Tordoff, was inducted into the AM Hall of Fame in 2018 in recognition of his work in motor retail; later the same year that he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - he'd previously received an MBE in 2007.

He was also honorary life president at Bradford City Football Club. He and JCT600 have contributed much to Bradford. He took Bradford City Football Club out of administration in 1983 and was chairman for four years, helping to rebuild the stadium after the fire.

The JCT600 motor retail group has been the main sponsor for Bradford City for the last 10 years.

When he received his OBE in 2018, Tordoff said: "I’m fortunate to have enjoyed a fantastic career and I am tremendously proud of what we have created at JCT600. To have now been given this award by Her Majesty is the ultimate honour and I believe testament to the hard work, grit and enterprise for which Yorkshire is famous.

“I am very grateful to the people who work with me every day, both past and present, and who have helped me to grow JCT600 into Yorkshire’s biggest private company and to achieve this honour. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them all – they are the best."

Married to Jean for 66 years, he had three children – Lesley (deceased), Ian and John, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

During a long career spanning 71 years, Tordoff was instrumental in building the JCT600 business up from a single workshop and petrol filling station in Bradford, which his father Edward had founded as Tordoff Motors but his untimely death in 1950 left Jack Tordoff joining the business as an apprentice mechanic at the age of 15.

JCT600 is now one of Yorkshire’s greatest business success stories with 54 dealerships representing 25 of the world’s leading car marques and employing a team of 2,300 people from the North East through Yorkshire and into Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Now with a turnover of over £1.3 billion, the company this year celebrated its 75th birthday and Jack was immensely proud of having helped to create one of the largest and most highly respected privately owned motor groups in the UK and the largest private company in Yorkshire.

"Seventy-five years after its foundation, Jack’s legacy lives on with JCT600 remaining true to its Yorkshire heritage with its purpose-built head office and training centre based in Apperley Bridge near Bradford. It also remains very much a family business with its values embodied into its culture - JCT600’s commitment to being the best place to work was recognised when it achieved a place in the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to Work For’ list In 2016," said the statement.

"Jack was passionate about the importance of always putting the customer first and providing the best possible shopping experience. The business has continued to invest in its physical dealerships, but also embraced technology and innovation, developing a successful digital offering as well as establishing its own training programmes to ensure colleagues provide outstanding service. As a result, generations of car buyers in Yorkshire and beyond trust the brand he helped to create."

Less than a month left to register for free Automotive Management Live event at Birmingham NEC

Automotive Management Live 2021 - Shaping the future of motor retail

The sector’s premier insight and networking event returns to the NEC, in Birmingham, on November 11.

Book your place early to ensure they are ready to embrace a packed schedule of seminars and interactive stands.

Devonshire Motors owner Nathan Tomlinson said of the event: "Being able to get back to networking and learning in person is something that I'm really looking forward to,” he said, adding: “One thing that really caught my eye was the message about ‘learning new skills to balance your workload’.

“Personally, I think that's going to be a really big deal as we continually put more and more pressure on our teams to handle workflow, often digital, that we just don't have the structure, tools or skills to manage well.”

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