Ricky Reed, Brand Manager at Mazda MetroCentre & Silverlink
A well respected and much loved member of the Hodgson Family, Ricky started back in 1997 as a Sales Executive at the original Mazda dealership at The Silverlink in Newcastle.
With obvious ambition and the skills to match Ricky was soon offered (in addition of Mazda) the role of Sales Manager for the brand new Hodgson Suzuki Dealership in 2002, which was built right next to Silverlink Mazda Dealership.
As the brand developed under his strong leadership, Mazda began to blossom and become hugely successful in the North East retaining customers and delivering excellent sales and after sales standards.
Thousands of sales and a few cheeky grins later Ricky further cemented his future with Hodgson by becoming Brand Manager of the new purpose built Mazda Tower dealership at Metrocentre, Gateshead just off the A1 whilst continuing to lead his other dealerships for Mazda Silverlink as well as Suzuki Silverlink in Newcastle.
Don't just take our word for how successful he's been, check out the awards he and his teams have won.
He's not just once but twice won 'Suzuki Large Dealer of the Year' and even more recently won the highly coveted 'Mazda Elite' award for the UK's best dealership two years in a row for 2014/5 & 2015/6. He also won the Motability award for outstanding customer service to Motability customers and in fact, the first to win for a Mazda dealership ever!
Charlie Tufton, Assistant Manager at Mazda MetroCentre
Charlie is our Assistant Sales Manager at Mazda MetroCentre. He's Ricky's number 2 and keeps the team motivated as well as managing all aspects of the sales process for new and approved used vehicles. His natural rapport with colleagues and customers alike has meant he has quickly proved to be an integral part of the business.
If you meet Charlie while visiting Mazda MetroCentre, you can rest assured he will not only get you the best deal but will go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
What Charlie loves most about his role is being able to see people’s faces light up when they get their new car. ‘It’s priceless,’ he says. 'Working for Hodgson Motor Group, a family run company with a great reputation, has always been a pleasure and it is important that the customer is always the priority at Hodgson. This makes us very different to many other companies.'
It's not all work and no play though, he's also keen movie buff, plays football and enjoys spending time with his family.
Stephen Robson, Sales Executive at Mazda MetroCentre
Stephen is one of the most experienced Sales Executives at Hodgson Mazda MetroCentre. He has been working in the motor trade for over 30 years and at all levels.
He started out as a young salesman and rose through the ranks to senior management roles as well as having his own dealership. The Motor trade has always been something that he wanted to be part. 'Dealing with luxury products gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of different people from all walks of life,' says Stephen.
Today, he enjoys working for Hodgson because of its family values, friendliness and professionalism. ‘It’s a pleasure to come to work and be around like minded individuals who actually want to deliver excellent customer service'.
When the dealership doors close, he spends time with his twin daughters taking them swimming, cycling or creating music with them. Stephen’s favourite car – Mazda 6 Sport Nav 2.2 150 PS because it suits his lifestyle and is a pure pleasure to drive.
Michael Hall, Sales Executive at Mazda MetroCentre
Meet Michael, one of our friendly Sales Executives at Mazda MetroCentre. Once a policeman, today Michael enjoys the perks of the motor trade. ‘Cars are a big part of people’s lives. I see them as an extension of one’s personality. I find it very rewarding to be involved in a consumer’s buying experience, helping them make decisions that they will enjoy for years to come,’ says Michael.
'Why Hodgson? Well I have worked for a few different companies during my working life and Hodgson stands head and shoulders above them all. Here customers can relax and make an informed decisions without the pressures that are often associated with buying cars and that's important to us.'
Michael’s favourite car – Mazda 6 Sport Nav in 'Soul Red'. ‘This car is without a doubt the best saloon car on the market, offering fantastic specification for a great price. Twice in a row the Mazda6 claimed ‘Best Family Car’ at the Auto Express New Car Awards and it keeps getting better.
Jason Yates, Sales Executive at Hodgson Mazda MetroCentre
For some reason Jason seems to be extremely popular with all customers and especially our female customers - we think it must be all his product knowledge. In any case what he lacks in looks he certainly makes up for with his patient and calm approach.
He's well known for trying hard not only to get the best deal but also helping customers to find their perfect car going the extra mile to ensure that the car actually fits their lifestyle needs and budget.
'I enjoy working for Hodgson as it is a family run business and you really feel part of it. The standard of both the new and used vehicles we sell and service are outstanding and I'm really proud of what we do here, particularly as this is still a relatively new dealership.'
When he is not at work, Jason likes to get out and about to the gym, play football and socialise with friends over some drinks or dinner..
Neil Rogerson, Sales Executive & Motability Specialist at Hodgson Mazda MetroCentre
Neil is our Sales Executive and our Motability Specialist at Mazda MetroCentre. His regular day at work involves meeting with new and existing loyal customers, qualifying their new/pre-owned car requirements as well as handing over purchased vehicles using the infamous and unique Mazda tower.
Like his colleagues, Neil enjoys his job because of its diversity and the variety of people you meet on a daily basis. 'The Mazda brand attracts a real cross section of people although they all share the same common trait - they know that Mazda is the best kept secret in the industry and I love that!'
He also loves working for Hodgson. 'As it's a family run business the emphasis is on the customer getting the best experience throughout the whole process not just selling a car. We are also the only Mazda dealer in the UK to have our own Autopod Tower which gives customers a totally unique experience when they buy a new or used car from us.' says Neil. Check out the video here.
In his spare time Neil spends his time playing 5 a side football and is also a massive fan of the British Touring Car Championship. He's car mad!
Hayden Stephenson, Sales Executive Mazda MetroCentre
Hayden is one of the newer members of the Sales Executive at Mazda MetroCentre. He's quickly become the face of the Mazda MetroCentre showroom though.
On a daily basis he makes sure that all customers are looked after as soon as they arrive and makes everyone feel welcome. When he is not busy in the showroom, Hayden also works on all the photography for the site getting things prepped for the digital car buyers!
He naturally found himself interested in the motor industry because he enjoys working with ever-changing products that continually work on improvements. ‘I like working for Hodgson Mazda because Mazda is an amazing brand. The team I work with are a great bunch of laughs too,’ admits Hayden, 'it's not all about the cars!'
Ali Mudd, Product Genius at Mazda MetroCentre
Ali is our Product Genius at Mazda MetroCentre. If you’ve got a question about Mazda vehicles no matter how small or big how silly or technical, ask Ali and she will answer!
When you pick up any new or used Mazda from MetroCentre, Gateshead (unless it's her day off) you will most likely meet Ali. She takes every customer through an hour long handover process. She will always ensure that every customer leaves completely confident with their new vehicle before driving away from the showroom.
She'll demonstrate on board technology, set up your mobile phone & sat nav, give you tips and tricks and generally make sure that you have all the knowledge you need. Most importantly, Ali will give you the Autopod experience by delivering the car right into the showroom from the Mazda Tower.
'No two days are the same for me. I help people in person with their new vehicles and also on the phone if they get stuck at home and just need quick bit of help to get them going again.
Hodgson are also a great company to work for where you feel valued for your knowledge. Customer experience and satisfaction are the main focus and because of that we consistently deliver a high level of service. The Mazda Autopod Tower also allows us to deliver Mazda products to the highest of standards, an experience you would not get at another dealership.’
If you ever wondered what Ali does when she's not helping people or talking about Mazdas, then she's just as active and energetic about going swimming and mountain biking!
Justin Niblock, Service Manager at Mazda MetroCentre
If Ricky and Charlie are the drivers of the Mazda MetroCentre dealership then Justin is the engine. It's a difficult job to make sure all the customers, mechanics, sales teams and technicians are kept happy - all at the same time! Justin's calm and considered approach has meant he's a natural in this role having earned his stripes over at Mazda Silverlink previously before being promoted.
Justin's product knowledge is second to none and he's always got time for his colleagues. He's very popular with his team and his customers - perhaps it's his Irish charm that does it - or just the fact he's very professional and good at what he does.
'I've been at Hodgson a few years now and I have progressed in my career so I'm really happy. I like to be challenged at work and love solving problems for people so this role is perfect for me. Being a family business means you can really grow and make the role your own and I value that.'
Like all good Irish boys he's a Man Utd fan so when he's not at work, he's busy trying to get tickets for the games or watch recorded matches on Sky without hearing the score beforehand! He's also a good driver too - we've seen him on the track in the MX-5's putting them through their paces. We've also seen him scream like a girl when the female rally champion made him co-pilot her!
Stephen Smith, Aftersales Advisor at Mazda MetroCentre
Stephen, Aftersales Advisor at Mazda MetroCentre, is an early bird. He's the smiling face customers always see first thing in the morning, opening the front doors and meeting & greeting everyone bright and early. When you call in to book your car for service, you are most likely talking to Stephen!
He enjoys working in the automotive industry because no day is ever the same meeting different people and he gets the opportunity to build great relationships with customers. 'Hodgson MetroCentre will always have a special place in my heart. Not only it is a fantastic place to work, but also it's where I met my wife!'
When he is not at work, he likes to travel and take days out around the North East & Yorkshire. He is also a huge football fan, supporting (of course) Newcastle United!
John Davison, Aftersales Advisor at Mazda MetroCentre
John is another one of our fun and friendly Aftersales Advisors at Mazda MetroCentre. He is our Timekeeper! A tricky job which means looking after both customers and the technicians in order to ensure your Mazda is ready on time when expected.
When asked what he loves most about working for Hodgson Motor Group, he replied ‘My colleagues are why I like working here. They make the hard work all worthwhile and we enjoy being a team that can make a difference.'
On his days off John loves football and cricket. Travelling is his other massive passion, as he previously lived in Australia for 18 months and travelled the country. (Yes we're slightly jealous too!)