West Yorkshire Volvo retailers Clive Brook has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award by the sector’s leading magazine Automotive Management.
With retailers in Huddersfield and Bradford the business has been shortlisted for the magazine’s annual awards in the ‘Most Improved Dealer’ and ‘Best Retail Group’ categories.
Managing director Clive Brook, who began his career as a Volvo technician and challenged his previous employers, a well respected group in the sector, to allow him to buy out a Volvo business in 2007 because he had firm ideas about customer service and had the desire to be his own boss, submitted his entry as the business celebrated its 10th anniversary year.
He said: “I was offered the then failing Bradford operation and secured the funding needed to complete the deal. The mood went from ‘let’s get going’ to ‘survive or die’ as the recession bit and I battled for custom from my previous employer.”
Seven years later Clive acquired the Huddersfield operation from the same previous employer, the business where he had ‘cut his teeth’ in the trade and had originally hoped to buy. By 2016 Clive and his team had increased net profit at Bradford by 304% and had introduced a profitable fleet department sourcing vehicles and providing support for local businesses looking for company cars in the same year. In 2016 both businesses sold 813 new cars and 580 used vehicles whilst 2017 saw the company exceed 1,000 new car registrations.
He added: “We have shifted our focus in recent years to sell used vehicles closer to home. It makes no sense selling cars all over the country. You want customers that you can build a relationship with because they will return for servicing and to buy cars if you treat them well.”
Last year Clive Brook was named as one of 15 car dealerships to qualify for the magazine’s ‘Best UK Dealership To Work For 2017’. Automotive Management teamed up with Best Companies Group, that produces similar studies in other industries, to find and recognise the best places to work in the franchised retail sector. Clive Brook was measured on a range of key metrics which included leadership, planning, culture and economics, working environment, relationships with managers, training and development and pay/benefits.
Clive Brook employs 52 full-time and seven part-time staff members between its two dealerships with nine of the original 14 staff members employed when it first started trading remaining with the company.