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Car companies reward best dealer efforts
Top dealers from Kia, Mercedes, BMW, Mini, Volvo, Jeep and Hino shrug off tough year
28 Feb 2020
By TERRY MARTIN
CAR companies have shifted the spotlight to their dealer networks in recent weeks to celebrate the achievements of their top-performing retailers during difficult trading conditions in Australia last year, with Kia, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini, Volvo, Jeep and Hino among the brands to stage annual awards presentation events.
Kia was the only leading mainstream brand to avoid a downturn in total sales volume last year, and named Peter Warren Kia in Warwick Farm, west of Sydney, as its 2019 National Dealer of the Year (DOTY).
The dealership also took out the Eastern Region DOTY award, with dealer principal Adam Augustynowicz singing the praises of his entire team and taking to social media over the past couple of weeks to profile various employees who were integral to achieving the accolade.
Kia’s Southern Region DOTY award was won by Echuca Kia in Victoria’s north (led by Duane Johns), while Midland Kia in Perth (Laurent Vincent) took out the Western Region DOTY gong, Wayne Phillis Kia in Adelaide (Warwick Bentley) was named Central Region DOTY and Brisbane’s Motorama Kia (Moorooka), led by Simon Guthrie, was crowned Northern Region DOTY.
Individual award winners included Werribee Kia’s Jim Vuckovic (Top Sales Achiever) and Rockingham Kia’s Craig Jackson (Top After Sales Achiever).
The market-leading premium brand, Mercedes-Benz, has named its M-B Berwick dealership in Melbourne’s outer south-east as 2019 Metropolitan Retailer of the Year (ROTY), ahead of M-B Melbourne and M-B Brisbane, while the Rural ROTY award was won by M-B Coffs Coast in Coffs Harbour, NSW, ahead of Carlin & Gazzard in Mount Gambier, SA.
The Mercedes-Benz Berwick dealership, which is steered by dealer principal Craig Howard, has won the Metro ROTY award six times over the past seven years, and collected a barrowload of key individual awards this time around including New Vehicle Sales Manager of the Year (Metro) – won by Mike Buxton – and AMG Brand Manager of the Year (Daniel Bey).
For the Mercedes-Benz Vans division, M-B Melbourne was named Metro ROTY ahead of G Brothers in Mona Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches and Mercedes-Benz Berwick, while Rural ROTY went the way of M-B Mornington in Victoria ahead of Callaghan Motors (Warrnambool, Vic) and Mercedes-Benz Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore, Qld).
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services awarded its ROTY awards to 3 Point Motors in Melbourne (Cars) and M-B Macgregor in Brisbane (Vans).
In New Zealand, Armstrong Prestige Christchurch took out the ROTY award for a record eighth time, ahead of M-B North Shore (Auckland) which also received the award for M-B Vans ROTY.
Over at BMW, which recorded 1.1 per cent sales growth last year as the overall industry fell 7.8 per cent, the Bavarian brand’s dealership in Brighton was crowned 2019 Dealer of the Year from the 43-strong network.
The team at Brighton BMW led by DP Adam Davenport was also named Major Metro DOTY, taking out the title ahead of Brisbane BMW, while the Metro DOTY was Waverley BMW in Melbourne – winning from Canterbury BMW in Sydney.
Provincial DOTY was Coastline BMW on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, edging out Hornsby BMW on Sydney’s upper north shore, and Rural DOTY for 2019 was Shepparton BMW in Victoria, winning from Townsville BMW in north-east Queensland.
The standout dealers in the Mini Excellence awards were Essendon Mini Garage in Melbourne, Brisbane Mini Garage and Mini Garage Sydney.
Volvo Car Australia also recently presented its 2019 Pinnacle Awards, toasting the success of its entire dealer network that delivered almost 8000 cars last year (+16%) and, in particular, the efforts of its standout retail partners.
Notably, Melbourne’s Volvo Cars South Yarra, led by DP Sue Alford, took back-to-back wins in the coveted Major Metropolitan Award, this time ahead of Volvo Cars Melbourne, while Volvo Cars Geelong similarly took out the Metropolitan Award for the second year in a row, ahead of Volvo Cars Adelaide.
For a record fourth year, Volvo Cars Southern Highlands in Moss Vale, NSW, won the Rural Award, with Volvo Cars Central West in Orange, NSW, close behind.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia also recently held its 2019 DOTY ceremony that for its top-selling (and albeit struggling) Jeep brand saw three Victorian dealerships lead the pack in their respective category (A, B or C, based on primary market size).
They were: Category A – City Chrysler Jeep in inner-city Melbourne, which is led by DP James Sounas; Category B – Knox Chrysler Jeep in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, where Chris Tselepatiotis is general manager; and Category C – Dwyers Chrysler Jeep in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, part of the Dwyers Motor Group overseen by DP Anthony Dwyer.
All three won their respective category for the Southern Region, while winning Chrysler Jeep dealers in other regions were as follows: Eastern: Tynan/Sutherland (A), Gerald Slaven (B); Central/Western: Osborne Park (A), Wanneroo (B), Mt Gambier (C); Northern: Gold Coast (A) and FR Ireland (B).
Toyota’s truck brand Hino staged its retail awards at a gala event in Sydney attended by Hino Motors Limited chairman Yasuhiko Ichihashi and where Victoria’s Prestige Hino (Dandenong) – under the watch of DP Angelo Valerio – won its fifth consecutive Metropolitan DOTY award.
Prestige Hino’s Danny Timewell took out Salesperson of the Year, making it two in a row, while the dealership also won the Metropolitan class for Customer Experience – Sales.
Not to be outdone, West Orange Motors in NSW, which has Aaron Daniel at the helm, won the Regional DOTY title for the second time in three years, and also took out the Parts Excellence (Regional) category – one of the various other individual awards presented across the network for excellence in sales, parts and service.
WA Hino Sales & Service in Perth won the Hino Financial Services Award and Sales Excellence (Metro).
In addition to winning a Service Excellence Award, CMI Hino Adelaide received special recognition for its 50-year partnership with Hino Australia.
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