Good day to you all.
As ever I hope this finds you and your families, close ones safe and well as can be as we continue to endure and strive to combat this crippling pandemic.
Most of you will be “punch drunk” with the continuous media coverage both nationally and globally, with significant ambiguity creating even more uncertainty / confusion and in some cases additional worry.
I will outline where we are and our short-term plans for the coming weeks or so as you must appreciate it is impossible to plan further as most matters are out of my / our control. An immense amount of thought, work and planning has gone on over past weeks / months in order to try protect our position, livelihoods and Hodgson Newcastle the company.
The PDI Centre and After Sales opened week commencing 18th – the after sales managers being in week previously in order to put in place protocol, PPE and assess the customer demand levels. Initially 2 technicians were un-furloughed in conjunction with service reception members. The managers evaluated the personnel they felt best suited for this particular state of affairs, the strategy simply to “the ramp up” after sales operations as swiftly as possible, via direct customer contact, service plans etc.
With regard PDI, to prep the part exchange used stock in order to have cars ready to sell / deliver on the used car pitches (this was not completed during March as result of the Stoneacre position)
Sales managers have been in this week across most sites in order to correlate pending new car deliveries, assess sales enquiries and prepare sales area protocol etc.
On Monday June 1st we will un-furlough a portion of the sales teams across each site in order to fulfill this requirement and of greater significance “drive sales”
More than ever it is Imperative we sell cars, lots of cars make a profit and therefore secure our business, exactly the same for after-sales departments who absolutely must be productive, efficient and attain recovery rates required. In essence this will secure jobs, in conjunction with up selling, some teams are good some haven’t historically ever truly bought in or made the required effort.
As we fight to recover from the horrendous financial costs Hodgson Newcastle has endured, not to mention loss of profits in our key trading months, no excuses the job must be done, viability achieved to ensure your future. You will appreciate the high financial implications of running a business of our size especially without any income whatsoever.
I reiterate I have not had the benefit of furlough and have had no income simply costs for nearly 3 months, again you will appreciate there is a limit to how long I will continue to endure such a scenario.
The ball is very much in your court, Hodgson Newcastle as a result of my continued reinvestment in the business and leaving all profits in the company have so far endured, we are in a considerably stronger position than most to fight through this with minimum disruption / pain to you -with the proviso we achieve that objectives I have set out.
Subject to the success / performance of these operations and team members, we hope to be in a position to further “ramp up” operations and therefore un-furlough more of the teams to speedily reach viability.
I state very clearly for all, The actions and success of the measures undertaken and performance of the Hodgson Team members over the next crucial weeks will not only greatly impact but determine the future of numerous personnel and the direction / future of Hodgson Newcastle.
As in all walks of life there are those that do and those who don’t (quite as much), those who “buy in” show dedication, commitment, loyalty indeed all I have shown to you all since conception of Hodgson Newcastle and those who sadly don’t.
We are a great team and a great, strong company the vast majority of you I am proud to say make us what we are.
Regrettably, some have got away to this point of cruising along, hiding in the shadows, going through the motions, concentrating on their own agenda – call it what you will, I and numerous others know those whom I refer to.
That can no longer continue and indeed will no longer be tolerated, I reiterate we are extremely strong unlike many companies who have already or will fail. You must all read daily the job loss figures, literally thousands, the brutal reality is we must focus, work hard and deliver. (Maclaren -JLR – Easyjet – Marshalls and a great many more car dealerships)
Giving 100% constantly not just when it suits.
Hardwork and Teamwork.
Going that extra step, pulling together as we have done so many times over the years to collectively “buck the trend”.
For me Failure is not an alternative and has never and will never be acceptable to me.
These principles are a prerequisite for everyone going forward, those not willing / happy to do so, or prepared to do so – Good luck in your future for it is not with Steve Hodgson or Hodgson Newcastle.
Please reflect on the aforementioned it is not negative, nor threatening to the right people prepared to take up my invitation as laid out – It is the harsh reality of where we are and what we have to do in order to drive forward positively together for the protection, future and success of us all and our families.
I invite you to forge and secure our future.
As Always please pass this information on to your colleagues for us.I have also posted on the staff FB page.
For those of you who signed up to have your payslips emailed to you back in April - Your May Payslip is now ready:
Please be aware I am ONLY facilitating the admin of this NOT able to help with any actual pay issues.
IF YOU STILL HAVE NOT OPTED for this electronic version you can do so here. At present, I am not aware that physical payslips are still being printed.
Either create a new email if you don't have one (It's 2020) or make sure if you are using a jointly used email address you are happy with it being sent there. Otherwise, again, I'd suggest signing up to google Email which is free.
(P.s looking forward to seeing you all again soon guys x)
Good afternoon all, just a bit of an update for everybody and again please feel free cascade this (or take a pic of) to anyone not on here. It's also on the Staff page. Mr Hodgson is due to provide an official update but in the meantime here's our plan for now.
On Monday 18th May, we opened up the service departments with very limited staff after having put in place new social distancing and sanitising procedures. This was done to ascertain the demand out there for our workshops. After less than a week it appears there is; so we are already considering increasing the workforce in those departments.
For the Sales departments, we must do exactly the same and bring staff back as and when the market dictates it. So, subject to no government u-turn we are planning to go partially operational from the 1st of June with very limited staff.
Those staff members will be invited to return to work by senior management. Don't worry if you are not asked at this stage as we are phasing in the return of all departments according to safety and workloads. The sales team's first task will be to deliver the sold units in stock.
Many of you will have seen my public-facing post last night on the Facebook pages. We need to create & measure the public appetite for Servicing and MOT's & sales away from those we already have. Once all our marketing channels are fully open, the sales management team will review the demand and un-furlough staff as required.
Any questions or queries you may have please contact your line managers / Keith & Ricky.
I know you may be tired of being asked to be patient but I'm sure you can imagine, the entire situation is extremely complicated and staff safety is paramount.
Thanks again, Danny, Keith Lovegreen & Ricky Reed
This note is intended for all Hodgson Staff. If there is someone in your team who has not received this, please forward could you forward on.
You will have heard the outcome of the government announcement on Sunday evening from the Prime minister outlining the proposed roadmap to ease the UK lockdown.
For Hodgson specifically, we will continue as we have been over the past six weeks and we will plan for a re-opening as and when it is safe and viable to do so.
The key messages from the government were:
For complete clarity, here is what it means for all Hodgson Staff and our business:
There are a number of areas that still require more detail, which we anticipate we will hear more about over the next few days.
Thank you for your continued patience as we prepare for re-opening and we will update you again as soon as we have more news.
If you would like to receive your payslip by personal email then please provide your Full Name & Personal Email address below. This is so we have your permission in accordance with GDPR & Data protection requirements.
*Please provide a personal email address that you are happy to receive this confidential information to now and in the future.
Continued Furloughed Leave - Update
As you know the Company is still facing a significant and unprecedented downturn in business as a result of the continued pandemic. The Company has therefore continued to keep employees on Furloughed leave in order to further safeguard the Company's financial future and as an alternative to unpaid lay off and with the hope of avoiding redundancies.
As you previously agreed to be placed on Furloughed leave on an indefinite basis with regular reviews to take place thereafter, we wanted simply to keep you up to date. Therefore, there is no need to acknowledge this communication.
As before In accordance with the recent government announcement, you are entitled to be paid at a rate of 80% of your usual salary subject to a maximum liability to us of £2500 per month where applicable providing we can claim this back from the government. This is a gross figure and will be subject to the usual tax and NI deductions. As advised, the Company is unfortunately not in a financial position to pay the remaining 20% of your salary costs or the difference between the £2500 cap per month and your usual salary costs where applicable. March commissions will be paid in April in the usual way.
During this period of Furloughed leave the following conditions will apply:
Your Furlough Leave shall end on the earliest of the following events:
(a) the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ending;
(b) either you or us ceasing to be eligible for funding under that scheme; or,
(c) us deciding to cancel Furlough Leave and bring you back to work.
The Company will continue to review the situation on an ongoing basis and will provide you with any update as soon as it can. Please also keep yourselves updated via this Staff Web page. Please can you also share this page with any colleagues as we are still relying on everyone to help cascade this information so no one is accidentally excluded.
This is the Staff Page URL to share with Staff - https://www.hodgsons-newcastle.co.uk/about-us/covid-19-staff-information/?fbclid=IwAR129Q6ysbESzWki0S-uwEpzvMOXCGG3o7I2KsXXnQ1Cv1UJpjZaVJv-sPk
As we are sure you will appreciate, the continued uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic means it is difficult for the Company to look beyond the next week with any certainty.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this very difficult time. We appreciate this is a worrying time for you and your families. If you require any additional support or information from the Company, please do not hesitate to contact Keith,Ricky, Danny or Janet.
In the meantime, please can we encourage you to keep following Governmental guidance relating to Covid-19 and take all cautionary steps possible to ensure your safety and good health and that of others.
Good Afternoon to All Hodgson Teams,
Having waited as patiently as “most of you” I now wanted to take the opportunity to give as best an update as possible as to where we are in these horrendous, unprecedented times. Firstly, may I offer my sincere condolences for those of you who may have lost loved ones during this extraordinary health crisis.
Unprecedented is, without doubt, the most used word of our past 4 weeks or so in association with Coronavirus and very sad deaths.
Bullet Points issued in the past 24 hours concerning the “UNPRECEDENTED” effects to our and indeed the Global economy:
* Biggest slump in 300 years - not sure relevance of anything beyond say past 20 years.
* £7 trillion loss to Global GDP not sure even how many “000” that is.
* 35% fall in economic output - I am still incurring fixed costs - these are numerous and significant and must be paid to continue and try re-build as and when we come through this pandemic. Furthermore, I must make these payments without generating/receiving any revenue/income money streams.
* 2.1 MILLION THE RISE IN UNEMPLOYMENT.... and as of only yesterday this figure could be on the optimistic side.
The Spectre of a Great Depression looms... only one of the headlines. Truly a scary scenario, however behind the scenes a small team are fighting to ensure we survive this.
SOWHEREDOES THAT LEAVE HODGSON NEWCASTLE OR SPECIFICALLY YOU!
In these times we see the very best and the very worst in people.
The retired doctors and nurses who have come out of retirement after a life’s work to volunteer to help NHS and those stricken by this evil virus - resulting in these heroic actions costing them their own lives. Think on this, please.
With difficulty I will try not to dwell on the worst as now is not the time although I fervently believe these people will have a day of reckoning.
So back to where that leaves you or should I stress US the Hodgson Teams. For the foreseeable future, Hodgson Newcastle Ltd will continue to be operated and owned by Me and my family.
We are in a strong position (unlike many) to be able to weather these times and be able to recover when we come out the other side of COVID-19:
BUT only If we stick together for the good of all.
To ensure we survive and have a future we Reluctantly “Furloughed” the vast majority of employees on the 24th March. This was a very difficult decision but was taken to help ensure job security for the many when we do return to work.
On that note it is likely the majority will remain Furloughed for some time and at this juncture, I envisage that a return to work will inevitably be in stages until such time we are operating somewhere near to viable capacity.
The timings of this are far beyond my control however I feel personally that June is a more realistic target, anything sooner will be a welcome blessing.
Behind the scenes, a small number of senior managers are doing Stirling work keeping our ‘Key workers” mobile and providing communication with our franchise partners, our customers and staff members whilst ensuring we operate within the Furlough guidance.
Sadly, and most disappointingly a very small number are only interested in themselves and not prepared to help our mutual cause.
If you have been asked to help in any way I can assure you that your Furlough position will not be compromised. Our legal team's advice regarding the operation of the business has been crucial to ensure we abide by the government guidance and achieve exactly that which the Furlough scheme was implemented to achieve: Save valuable UK businesses and therefore by design save as many jobs as possible.
Without this invaluable Government support MANY businesseswould be forced to close with horrendous consequences - indeed only this week we have seen numerous businesses collapse as they can’t pay overheads even with their staff on Furlough.
I feel it pertinent to state on the record for the benefit of this small few (not the vast majority of you) that if you have been asked to help ensure we protect jobs.
IT IS NOT IN ORDER TO NOT HELP ME! AS I REITERATE, I HAVE NO INCOME WHATSOEVER SINCE 24TH MARCH - IT IS TO HELP YOU ALL - At the moment it is still unclear if the Furlough payments will be available for the April payroll.
However, I can confirm to you that I am prepared to pay you all under the Furlough agreement and then attempt to reclaim from the government Furlough scheme when it becomes fully operational. This action as we are a team, a great team and further reinforcing my loyalty/commitment to you. I will not allow the actions of a very small few to contaminate this. It is fair to say again that many (and a large percentage in our industry) will not be in a position or prepared to pay staff until the government provide the money!!!
At this moment we have Danny Jarvis, Keith Lovegreen, Ricky Reed, Janet Watson are in full-time employment and are being greatly assisted by members of their teams, together we will keep you updated as we receive information from the government. Furthermore, we are in daily contact with our legal and financial advisors who I have kept on retainer to keep us best prepared.
The aforementioned team members are certainly leading by example and helping provide me with the fortitude to fight through these unparalleled/preternatural (words other than unprecedented) times.
I sincerely hope you will provide the support to Keith, Ricky, Danny, Janet, Mark and myself needed to help ensure as smooth as possible return to work when we can do so. Your patience, resilience and support at this time are greatly appreciated, thank you.
For anyone not on the same page or confused please speak with me directly.
I sincerely hope you and your families are safe and well. Please continue to follow the government guidelines and stay safe.
Everyday the Senior management team watch the UK Goverment update briefings on the BBC. These briefings happen everyday around 4pm-5pm and intend to give the public and the media the opportunity to exchange information and report on statistics and any changes in Gov guidelines.
After having listened to the latest government briefing on TV last night it still seems highly unlikely that the current UK wide 'Lockdown' will end anytime soon,certainly not in the next 3 weeks. All current COVID-19 graphs and learnings from other countries point towards the UK still not being at the 'Peak' of the virus. No one I'm sure wants to return to work if a) if the virus is still in this phase and b) if the government haven't sanctioned any change in their 'Lockdown' guidlines.
Whilst there is complete understanding that staff are anxious about wages and if and when we may return to work, the honest reality is that the company needs to respond only when there is clear direction from the government and that it takes the very best option for the company financially in order to protect staff.
When the time comes to return to work this will also have to be very carefully planned beforehand as to do so presents many different challenges that we've not faced before. This goes for all businesses of course and the factors facing our industry will need many hours of planning and in stages.
Please be assured that regular contact is being made with Steve Hodgson several times a week to discuss key decisions, wages, government briefings and AOB.
I know this is an anxious time for everyone but again these are unprecedented times and the Management team need you patience and understanding.
Please stay safe, stay positive and try to keep busy with your loved ones at home or online.
Thanks again for your patience,
Thanks once again for your patience during these last few days. We are sending out an email today regarding Furloughed Leave. Thank you also for supplying the details we needed to be able to communicate this to you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
You should receive an email to the email address you have provided. Please check your junk boxes in case it lands in there. Please follow the instructions on the letter and confirm you have read and received the letter.
The Company will continue to review the situation on an ongoing basis and will provide you with any update as soon as it can. Please also keep yourselves updated via this page. As I am sure you will appreciate, the continued uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic means it is difficult for the Company to look beyond the next week with any certainty.
I take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this very difficult time. I appreciate this is a worrying time for you and your families. If you require any additional support or information from the Company, please do not hesitate to let me know.
In the meantime, please can I encourage you to follow Governmental guidance relating to Covid-19 and take all cautionary steps possible to ensure your safety and good health and that of others.
Firstly, thank you all for your patience during this last week. It’s been pretty crazy trying to sort things out and get hold of the correct information at the right time.
Many of you by now will have heard the term ‘Furlough Leave’. It means the same thing across the country but very different to every business.
Keith Wild is putting together a letter / email to everyone to explain what is going to happen. To do this quickly and efficiently we need to gather everyone’s personal email address. So this is secure the marketing team have created a form for you all to put that email into.
YOU MUST PUT YOUR EMAIL (that you have access to) AND YOUR NAME (so we know who you are).
Here’s the link;
If you have other staff member's contact information, it would be great if you could pass this to colleagues so everyone is aware.
Thank you for your help.
Please keep your self up to date with latest news and updates on the UK Government website.https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Staying at home
Anyone can spread the virus.