Keith Lovegreen, Brand Manager at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Keith is the Brand Manager at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre. He entered the industry in 1978 as a Parts man ironically for a small Toyota dealership in County Durham before moving into a role as a junior salesman for Mill Garages. From there he became the youngest ever Sales Manager in a Ford dealership at that time and his career really started to move forward.
On joining Hodgson in 2005 Keith quickly became a very important and popular part of the senior management team with clear leadership skills within his own dealership. Keith's ability to motivate and also drive the team to success is matched by his understanding and down to earth nature.
'Every day is totally different and that creates the variety we all need to really thrive and be challenged in life. The market may change, buyer behaviour may also change but looking after customers and working hard to keep them loyal always stays the same. It's that ethos that keeps me happy at Hodgson Motor group.'
It is exactly that attitude and dedication that won Keith Toyota's highest customer satisfaction award in 2010 - The Ichiban Award. More recently in 2015 his Toyota Metrocentre dealership also won Toyota's own BRIT award for Best Retailer In Town. Town actually being the U.K!
When asked what his favourite Toyota is/was Keith knew immediately.'Easy, the Celica GT4 Carols Sainz.' This is most likely due to the fact that Keith was also a national rally car driver who won many titles in various categories all over the UK. Needless to say when Keith's driving we know we're in safe hands.
Michael Friberg, Transaction Manager at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Michael is our Transaction Manager at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre. He has been in the motor trade since leaving school and worked with a few different manufacturers before joining Hodgson Motor Group. Michael joined our family in 2005 as a Sales Executive, selling both New and Approved Used vehicles, as well as commercials. 5 years ago, he was promoted to Transaction manager.
Micheal looks after the dealerships supply of vehicles, managing the specifications of products and assessing the local market when it comes to buying in stock. He's very precise and process driven, staying on top of the team, legislation and making sure the dealership is adhering to the highest levels of Hodgson & Toyota customer service in order to maintain customer loyalty. He's often the voice of knowledge and always happy to help anyone out!
Outside of work Micheal is a keen runner, running for Blaydon Harriers in middle distance races. He's also mad on motor bikes too, so you can't meet a more perfectly placed 'Petrol Head'!
Mark Gavin, Transaction Manager at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Mark is the other of our Transaction Managers at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre. Mark served seven years in the RAF before starting in the motor industry. Today he's worked his way through the automotive ranks to one of the key positions within a Toyota Franchise. When Mr Lovegreen is away from the business, it's Mark that takes the captains arm band and steps up.
The last six of his twenty year career in car sales has been working for Hodgson and he says he can't imagine being anywhere else. 'I enjoy the motor trade and its diversity. I guess, I like the comradery that naturally comes with being part of a close working team, which is how I grew up. No day is the same at Hodgson and what's different here is that we get to meet new people everyday and hopefully build long lasting relationships with them.'
Like Micheal Friberg, Mark maintains the standards of the performance of the sales team through effective coaching and performance management and liaises with the other departments in the dealership to maintain the accuracy of the customer database whilst helping to develop the business.
When he is not working with the team, he's on the Golf Course as he's a huge golf fan. He confesses more and more of his time is spent playing and/or watching the sport and that he has a very understanding wife!
Keith Levitt, Sales Executive & LCV Specialist at Toyota MetroCentre
Keith has been working at Toyota Metrocentre for six and a half years as part of the sales team, so he’s no stranger to Toyota’s vast range of vehicles and Hodgson’s high standards of customer service.
He’s also been in the automotive industry since 1984 so comes with a vast amount of sales experience, especially in repeat custom and how to assess changing customer needs.
As a dedicated LCV specialist Keith also has the necessary skills in after sales, conversions and legislation to help guide business customers through the entire journey of buying single or multiple vehicles. Continually being tested and sent on courses by Toyota, Keith, like all our executives, can give the highest quality information on new products with first-class, specialist customer service.
Jon Grant, Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Jon Grant is a brilliant Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre and extremely popular with customers for his no nonsense approach and helping new and existing customers find their perfect car for their specific needs.
His modern approach has also gained him many customers who are short of time and can't always pop into see him. Jon happily connects with his customers via email, texts, Facebook, Instagram or however they prefer to be contacted. This has set Jon apart for maintaining good relationships with existing private and business customers who are always happy to come back to Jon and see him.
Ask him, what's so special about Hodgson Motor Group? 'It's the team. Everyone is incredibly dedicated, always pushing forward to give the best customer experience to our region,' says Jon.
When he is not at work, Jon is an extremely keen footballer and enjoys spending precious time with his young family.
Andrew Dobson, Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Andrew Dobson is our 'diamond in the rough' at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre. A one time (+2 Scratch) professional golfer Andy joined the team in Feb 2010 as a showroom host after major injury cut short his sports career.
Golf's loss was Hodgson's win. His positive attitude and natural want to progress meant Andy was taking everything in whilst spending time with customers in the showroom. So in July 2011 Andy was promoted to Sales Executive and put through the Toyota Academy and he's been successfully climbing the ladder since. He's now been at Hodgson for six years proving time and again that he had what it takes to make it in a tough industry.
When he's not a work he still likes to show people up on the golf course what he can. He's even been know to organise Golf days and has played with a few customers on occasion too!
Steve McNulty, Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Steve is exceptionally friendly, fun loving and always optimistic. He joined as a Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre in November 2015 having previously worked with Mr Lovegreen.
Although comparatively new to Hodgson, Steve is a hardened veteran to the motor industry having served 26 years sales with the last 10 years in Sales and Business manager positions. His plucky attitude must be the key to his youthful outlook and he's a firm favourite with the rest of the team and his customers.
When he's not at work, Steve likes to keep super fit. He has a home gym and he likes to play football with his 8 year old son. 'Staying physically fit keeps you mentally fit and I think that's an important part of your work/life balance. Also if you are happy at work your customers tend to sense that and in turn you can create a better rapport with them.'
In all the years of working in the industry we asked him what his favourite Toyota was. 'It was my Corolla 2.0d. My very first Toyota demonstrator. It had unreal mpg and it was just such a fun to drive.'
Chris Newton, Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Chris is another incredibly valued Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre who really knows his 'stuff' especially when it comes to dealing with customers of all ages. Chris has been working at Hodgson Motor Group for over a year and came from a long history in retail from well known high street brands.
Chris appoint injected a wealth of customer service experience, which really bolstered the existing teams skills. Although still a relative 'newbie', Chris has gone through the Toyota Academy Bronze & Silver grades and now shares his knowledge about Toyota with his customers who always come back to him.
Wonder what Chris does after work? Well, he's a bit of a dark horse actually - he loves heavy metal and rides motorbikes. A drum kit playing 'Hells Angel', Chris has owned several different bikes over the last 20 years & has even refurbished and rebuilt a few of them! He's no 'newbie' really, is he?
Peter Kruk, Approved Used Sales & Motability Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Peter is our approved used car specialist and he's also our Motability specialist too. He joined Hodgson Motor Group in 2005 and has worked in the motor industry since 1982. Before that he worked for Catapillar Tracktors so knows a thing or two about specialist vehicles, so you are in safe hands.
His motability clients know they can rely on Peter on getting them a vehicle that has the right adaptions and specifications for their all needs and we're lucky to have his cheery personality on board to keep spirits high in the dealership. He also works hard to source used vehicles and has built up an impressive client database of people who always pick up the phone when they fancy something new or their needs have changed.
His little known fact is that he was chosen as a boy to go on a football apprenticeship for no less than Chelsea Football Club, playing for them between 1969-1972. As you can imagine he has some great stories!
Richard Glasper, Sales Executive at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Richard is one of our experienced Sales Executives at
Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre. He came to Hodgson Motor Group with a bag of
experience but actually fell in love with the industry only when he joined
Hodgson in 2013. His experience in various dealerships has helped him to be the
salesperson he is today.
Suzanne Cranna, Service Advisor at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Suzanne Cranna, or as we like to call her, Suzie is one of our lovely & energetic Service Advisors at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre. She joined Hodson family in 2007 and swears she will never leave! Once trained as a nursery nurse who worked as private nanny for 8 years, mostly in Paris (Incroyable!), Suzie moved to the North East 25 years ago for a job and got into motor trade by accident! Suzies was having a career break when she decided to go back to college and needed a part-time job to keep her going. And that’s how Suzie’s motor trade career started…
Today, she still enjoys her job and says that the best part about it is meeting new customers. The job, as you can image, gets really hard at times with a lot of beautiful Toyotas’ coming in for a service, but it is very exciting and rewarding at the end of the day.
Born and bred in a county, she loves nothing more than being outside, enjoying that unexpected ray of sunshine or a blow of fresh breeze to clear her mind.
Julie Drummond, Showroom Host at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Julie is the latest addition to our Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre family who joined Hodgson in April 2016. She will always meet you with a big smile on her face and ready to help you!
Julie enjoys Hodgson for a variety of reasons, especially because it is an extremely professional company with friendly, experienced staff who always go the extra mile both in sales and aftersales. She is proud to be a member of the Hodgson family.
Before Hodgson, Julie was working in IT Sales in South Africa!
When she is not at work looking after our lovely customers, she likes to spend her time active - cycling, walking, exercising or spending time with her friends, enjoying good food and wine.
Shirley Bone, Showroom Host at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre
Shirley is our Mother Hen at Hodgson Toyota MetroCentre, who joined Hodgson in 2013 and has been looking after all our big family and Hodgson customers since. Prior Hodgson, Shirley was working in various customer service roles for many blue chip companies across the North East and London for over 30 years so if you meet Shirley at our dealership, you can be sure you are in really good hands. She has a vast array of transferable skills which ensures all our customers get only the best experience possible when entering our showroom.
Furthermore, Shirley is a Master NLP practitioner with a good knowledge in Physiology, Hypnotherapy and Holistic Therapies which is a great skill to have when looking after customers as well as assisting the rest of the team to ensure their day runs smoothly.
Shirley enjoys working for Hodgson Motor Group because ‘it’s all about that feel good factor, a positive mind set, making sure all our customers feel good in our dealership and receive the best customer service from us. The Hodgson team work long hours in order to accommodate customers who have work commitments and everyone is very passionate about customer service and making the experience the best in the industry,’ says Shirley.
When she is not at work, Shirley spends most of her spare time travelling and dancing. She dances at least three times a week and says it’s a great way of keeping fit and having fun! ‘I was very proud to participate in our own Dance-a-thon in our Toyota MetroCentre showroom for Macmillan Cancer Support, dancing and raising money in memory of a former colleague who passed away,’ remembers Shirley.