Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd is celebrating the finals of its annual nationwide Dealership Challenge, which took place over a whole day at its HQ in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The six finalists out of ITUK’s 63 dealerships had to progress through two exceptionally tough earlier online rounds before qualifying for the finals. They were then confronted by a series of challenges that tested every aspect of their skills, knowledge and professional expertise to the limit.
Peter Murphy, Managing Director of ITUK says; “We set up the Dealership Challenge to find the very best people and companies in our nationwide network. It is also a way of assessing the ability of our dealer network to ensure that we continue to deliver the very highest levels of care, sales expertise, parts and service technical skills.”
“Our UK dealership network consists of full Sales, Parts and Service dealerships and supported by Service and Parts dealerships (authorised repairers). We have structured the competition to ensure that both categories of our dealerships can compete. This year, the second time we have run the completion, we had six fantastic finalists.”
The finalists of the 2014 Dealership Challenge were AK Commercials Bristol, Ferndown Commercials Dorset, DT Trucks Essex, Imperial Commercials Glasgow, Harry Moore Commercials Exeter and MC Truck & Bus Kent.
Kevin Archer, Director of AK Commercials in Bristol says;” “It was absolutely wonderful to be a finalist again in the Isuzu Truck Dealership Challenge for the second year running. We fielded exactly the same team as last year. I’ve had 40 years in the industry, my co-director Alan Thomas along with John Rossiter, our service reception and CARE Champion, also have 44 years of experience. We have a wonderful team at A.K. Commercials and everyone works to a very high standard. We’re all very hands-on and passionate about what we do. For me personally, every day is a ‘teaching and learning day’. We think that Isuzu raised the bar this year, it was tough last year but even tougher this, but still very enjoyable and not too stressful. We’ll definitely enter again next year, it’s a great way to keep us on our toes and meet other top ITUK dealerships too.”
Derek Tansley, Owner of DT Trucks in Essex agrees; “It’s now nearly ten years since I liked the company that I worked for so much that I bought it in 2005! I went out on a limb and I’ve never looked back. I’m a technician by trade and I was the first technician to be sent to Japan by ITUK in 2010 to compete in Isuzu’s global competition. I represented the team that came 6th in the world.”
“When we entered the ITUK Dealership Challenge this year we progressed through the different stages and were delighted when we became finalists. We were very nervous at first but really enjoyed the Challenge day at ITUK’s Hertfordshire HQ. The entire team was unanimous afterwards telling me what a marvelous experience it had been. We came second – and we were absolutely furious with ourselves! We’re definitely going to win it next year.”
The third finalist was MC Truck & Bus Ltd based in Kent. Nigel Brooks, General Manager says; “This was the first year our team entered the ITUK Dealership Challenge. We were delighted to be finalists and we had an excellent day at the HQ in Hertfordshire. It was so intense, competing with the other finalists. We were so pleased with the outcome because we became the runners-up in the Full Dealer category, which was a great achievement for our team. Now we’ve had a taster we’ll definitely do it again and enter next year.”
The winners include a Full Dealership and an Authorised Repairer plus two Top Master Technicians who are sent to Japan to participate in the global I: 1 Grand Prix challenge at Isuzu Motors Japan, competing against Isuzu Truck technicians from around the world.
Debbie Flay, the Isuzu Truck UK CARE Champion from Ferndown Commercials says; “We were absolutely delighted to be finalists in such a prestigious competition. The Dealership Challenge is really tough and it was a real achievement to reach the finals. Our team had a great day at the finals. It was good to meet the other top dealerships from around the country and we were all really proud to be one of them. In the evening it was announced that our technician Chris had performed as one of the two top technicians on the day. This means he will go to Japan later in this year to compete in a global challenge with other Isuzu Truck technicians from around the world. As you can imagine we were all totally thrilled for him – it was such a great experience for the entire team.”
It’s the first year for new entrants Harry Moore Commercials, which makes their Authorised Repairer prize even more special. George Moore, the company’s Isuzu Truck UK CARE Champion says; “The Isuzu Truck Dealership Challenge was a fantastic event and our team really enjoyed taking part. The Challenge was so tough we all found the pressure of competing with five other superb teams really hard. We couldn’t believe it when we won the Authorised Repairer prize; it really is a tremendous honour and a great achievement for the whole team. We are all thrilled.”
The winners of the first Full Dealer prize in 2013, Imperial Commercials Glasgow, returned and triumphed for a second year running. A delighted Gus McMillan, Service Manager of Imperial Commercials Glasgow says; “As we travelled down to ITUK the team was feeling slightly nervous knowing what was ahead. Our team included Scott Baggley, Parts Specialist, Lesley Byars, Care Champion and Team Captain, Scott Kelly & Brian George, technicians and John Dyer, Sales Manager. I was the senior observer and supported them all throughout a stressful and very tough day but somehow still very enjoyable. All the staff at Isuzu worked tremendously hard to get everything just right.
“This was more intense than last year as we didn’t think we could win 2 years in a row. When Pete Murphy, ITUK’s MD announced we had won for the 2nd time, it was very emotional, in fact one of our team burst into tears when we found out! It was really emotional for us all as a team to win again, and we can’t wait until our trip to the Isuzu factory in Verona, Italy later in the year. And the icing on the cake was when we found out that Brian our superb technician will be going to Japan again to compete in the global challenge at Isuzu Motors Japan.”
Peter Murphy concludes; “All of our finalists have totally embraced our CARE philosophy to provide exceptional customer service, they had professional and knowledgeable salespeople and highly trained technical personnel within the parts and service disciplines. Isuzu produce great trucks but without professional dealers like our six finalists we cannot continue to provide the excellent customer service that we do to all of our customers throughout the UK.”
Isuzu – A global strength
Established almost a century ago Isuzu Motors Limited Japan is a world leading truck manufacturer. IML produces around 400 000 light to medium weight commercial vehicles, every year and its products are sold in a vast majority of countries throughout the world. The company is also a world-leader in diesel engine technology and manufactures around 1.5 million engines every year.
Isuzu Truck (UK) Limited was formed in 1996 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Limited Japan. ITUK is a dedicated truck marketing and sales operation. ITUK currently directly employs 51 people and has just over 60 dealers in its strategically located, nationwide network. All Isuzu truck products sold by ITUK are covered by a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty and backed by the company’s industry-unique, award-winning, customer service programme CARE (Customer facing, Always listening, Reliable and trustworthy, Efficient and friendly).