Over the coming days we’ll be interviewing all of our CAT Awards 2012 winners, finding out what winning means to them and their companies, and asking what business advantages the awards could bring. Stay tuned!
Read more from our 2012 Award winners in the current issue of CAT Magazine
Today we catch up with our Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Joe Elliott
“I always wanted to go into the motor trade. My grandfather started our family workshop business in 1908 and I used to visit him with my father, I would ride my bicycle in between the petrol pumps.
We were often accused at AIMS of making the group very elitist â€“ but thatâ€™s exactly what I wanted it to be. I wanted the group to be filled with the very best motor retailers.
Iâ€™ve been in this business for so many years, I was so proud to win this award. To win something like this is a fantastic feeling.â€
Chicane’s Gary Barak adds: “He is without a doubt the most passionate man that I have ever come across.”
Person of the Year award winner, NGK’s Brian Childs
“I was quite surprised to even be nominated, so to actually have won is a great honour. Iâ€™m quite touched, particularly since itâ€™s people within the industry voting for the award â€“ thatâ€™s the most pleasing thing about it.
“Iâ€™ve had a lot of very warm messages since the award, so Iâ€™m delighted and thrilled. It couldnâ€™t be better.â€
NGK’s Tim Ward added: “Heâ€™s a highly respected figure within our company and the industry. Heâ€™s been with NGK 37 years. Heâ€™s an inspirational man within the business and a very likeable guy.”
Deputy General Manager Tim Ward from NGK, our Suppliers of the Year 2012
“Weâ€™d never be so blaze to say we werenâ€™t surprised. Thereâ€™s never any assumption in our company that, just because we won it one year, weâ€™re going to win it the next.
The team is everything. Every department helps, they all contribute to the ultimate service that means we get comments from customers saying weâ€™re a good and easy company to deal with.
The commitment that we like to show to our customers, from wholesale to garage level, is respected.
Thereâ€™s a very tough job to be done and we donâ€™t underestimate what is required. If we donâ€™t get the cars in the garage, we donâ€™t get the sales. Itâ€™s all about encouraging motorists to continue servicing their cars.”
Wyn Jones from GMF, CAT Magazine’s Factors of the Year 2012
“There are so many good garages in our area. We have a fantastic and loyal customer base.
If anyone complains to us itâ€™s a gift because youâ€™ve got the chance of putting it right. Itâ€™s when you lose the customers that itâ€™s a problem.
The other thing our customers like is the consistency of parts. We do offer choices, with a budget range on certain lines, but our garages know what theyâ€™re buying from us.
[Winning] means a lot to the company and the staff. Everyone is fearful because of the economic climate weâ€™re in, so to belong to a company thatâ€™s winning and going forward is nice. We need to be pushing things on a positive note.
When youâ€™re in this industry you very rarely get told youâ€™re doing a good job!”
Glenn Mason of Motabitz, CAT Magazine’s Retailer of the Year Award winner 2012.
“I think itâ€™s a great win for our business, and I hope it will help us to win more new business. Weâ€™ve already been speaking to the award sponsors, Haynes, about how we can maximise this opportunity.
Weâ€™re already putting the word out, itâ€™s really going to help us to continue to improve the credibility of our industry.
I think the awards help to drive business growth, every business should try to be nominated. Theyâ€™re a great advert for the aftermarket.
You donâ€™t have to batten down all the hatches to survive the next year, you just have to be realistic and optimistic.”
Thule’s UK Business Manager Peter Barker, winners of CAT Magazine’s Technical and Safety Innovation Award 2012.Â
“It shows that all the investment in time, money and experience to ensure a safe quality product that is technical and innovative is recognised not only by the consumer but also by respected members of our industry.
We all are consumers once we close our laptops at the end of the day, and I am sure that like myself you look to buy the products that have been recognised by respected media, winning this award will definitely give us the edge on the competition.
I think that both small and large businesses alike should see this award as a serious confidence builder for our industry. For the smaller businessÂ it is an opportunity to be seen beside the multinational and global companies and stand proudly shoulder to shoulder with them.”
Steve Leys, CAT Magazine’s Aftermarket Worker of the Year 2012
“The day was very enjoyable. I really wasnâ€™t expecting to win at all, but Iâ€™m really chuffed. Iâ€™ve been a rep since I was 21, and itâ€™s great to receive this honour.
Weâ€™re putting the word out to the wider TRW group so everyone knows about the success weâ€™ve had.
When all the text messages and emails were coming in wishing me congratulations I was quite taken back. It was amazing to see the reaction on my wifeâ€™s face, too.
This is definitely a career highlight for me.”
Chris Meredith, ABP Motorsport Director and winner of CAT’s Garage of the Year Award in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“The award was great. I always like to take some of the staff members to these events because at the end of the day itâ€™s all down to them â€“ if Iâ€™d known we were going to win I would have brought everyone!
The awards were especially good because it gave us a chance to catch up with other people in the industry, and see there were people from high up positions in the market.
Itâ€™s very humbling as always to see such nice things written about us by our customers, and to hear such nice things said about the work we do. Getting this third award has been fantastic.
I think the awards weâ€™ve won have certainly helped to bring in new business for us. When we first won an award from CAT it bought in almost 200 new customers. I think the same might happen again this year.
I think weâ€™ll try again next year, at the end of the day itâ€™s all up to our customers.”
And remember, next year it could be your business!