There’s a Japanese word that’s used on a fairly regular occurrence throughout the business world – Kaizen. It’s the principle of continuous improvement, a process that involves a painstaking amount of detail and commitment to keep on bettering yourself. Toyota, in particular, swear by this mantra and it’s a fundamental principle in their overall ethos. Two years ago, they decided to take continuous improvement up another level by introducing The BRiT awards (notice there’s one less capitalised letter there to help distinguish between its musical counterpart). BRiT, in Toyota speak, stands for the ‘Best Retailer in Town’ and is the company’s way of recognising brilliance but also committing the network to always improving.
Our Group, both Hodgson Toyota Newcastle and Gateshead, attended the annual February awards ceremony at the luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Not to draw this out too much, as we know you’ll be waiting with baited breath: our Gateshead Centre won the big prize – Toyota’s Best Retailer in Town for 2015!
Winning this award was a huge, huge achievement and is recognition for fantastic year-round performance throughout the centre. Our consistency across all categories meant Gateshead were crowned victors, against a couple of hundred other centres around the country.
David Lowes was delighted with the accolade – “we’ve dealt with Toyota for a number of years and have enjoyed a great relationship together. We’ve been excellent for one another, throughout our partnership, and to win this award out of such a vibrant, forward-thinking network is fantastic. What’s even better is the recognition we can give staff for all of their hard work; this has truly been a team performance!”
Whilst the official award goes to Gateshead, Toyota Newcastle certainly wasn't far behind as 'Best Dealership' and also deserves great praise. Our two centres, combined, had us as the best Group in the network, but we were just a few other centres short of being eligible for this BRiT category.
As aforementioned, the BRiT was achieved for complete overall performance and not just sales. We were judged on 7 key areas – Customers, People, Reputation and Reach, Financial, New Car Sales, Used Car Sales and, last but certainly by no means least, After Sales. As symbolic as you can get that when people come to our dealership(s), no matter what they’ve come in for, the end result is invariably a good one. We must give all staff involved a huge 'well done' and 'thank you' for helping to achieve our status as the best in the nation!