Dealer Insight: Award-winning Rainworth Skoda


Rainworth Škoda in Mansfield has as soon as once more succeeded in successful the title of Škoda Retailer of the Yr.

The group has had previous success within the awards, choosing up a number of wins over the previous 5 years, together with a one-two in 2020. This 12 months, it noticed off DM Škoda Grimsby and Simpsons Škoda Nice Yarmouth who completed second and third respectively.

The group has represented Škoda for over 50 years, with present joint MDs Jon Atherton and Simon Beckett heading up the Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire outfit since 2001.

It made its first acquisition in 13 years in 2020, increasing its footprint with the acquisition of R N Golden, a Hyundai and Isuzu seller in Lepton.

Off the again of the group’s latest awards success, Atherton and Beckett spoke to Motor Dealer on its successful methods, sustaining a protracted and fruitful relationship with a model and the subsequent steps for the group.

On the subject of awards, they aren’t on the prime of the agenda for Atherton, extra like a contented consequence of the best way the dealerships are run. He stated: “I believe it’s half and parcel of what we do. If we get to September/October time and we’re hitting our metrics, its extra doubtless that we’ll choose up awards alongside the best way.

“There are many completely different metrics which are coated for the retailer of the 12 months, comparable to new automotive gross sales, aftersales, and folks improvement. If we get these proper, and simply take care of prospects and do the best factor, then we’ll get excessive scores.”

Beckett added: “We’ve obtained two dealerships within the prime 10, which isn’t any small feat. I believe this makes us stand out since you might solely have one website within the prime 10 after which the remaining are decrease down since you’re specializing in that one dealership. We’ve by no means finished that as a result of it’s not proper. We’ve now gained retailer of the 12 months 5 instances.

Three years in the past, we obtained first and second, which no one’s finished earlier than. We attempt to maintain ourselves within the prime 25 for the whole lot that the model appears to be like at.

“It’s a staff effort. All people from valets, technicians, gross sales folks and the cleaners share on this success. In order that’s a giant a part of it, everyone’s in it collectively.”

And there’s a long-standing relationship with the Czech model. When requested how they’ve maintained it, Atherton was eager to level out that it’s a partnership.

He stated: “Model alignment is essential, however we’re not subservient to the model. We’re in search of a partnership and we wish to associate with its programmes and check out new issues. Additionally, protecting the workers skilled helps preserve an excellent relationship with the model. We’ve obtained very low workers turnover, which I believe helps us with consistency at our dealerships.”

Working with EVs

Škoda, like nearly all of manufacturers, has begun releasing EV fashions, now sporting the ENYAQ IV and the CITIGOe iV. These can be joined by an extra three fashions by 2026. On this transition, Atherton is optimistic in regards to the model’s line-up however just isn’t positive EVs would be the “reply”.

He stated: “It’s been fairly a speedy change with COVID and the web aspect of issues, the entire world has gone mad for EVs, however that has slowed down fairly a bit now.

There was an preliminary burst of it, and we had been all doing effectively. However I’m unsure that electrical is the entire reply, I don’t suppose it ever can be. I believe we’ll cool down at a quantity, however I believe hydrogen might have rather a lot to supply. And a few of our hybrid autos are superb.

“We’ve had a implausible reception to ŠKODA’s EV choice. They’re fairly priced, and I believe good high quality, however I believe individuals are additionally realising that there are some limitations with EVs too.”

Beckett added: “Just a few years in the past we acquired RN Golden Hyundai and Isuzu. We’re almost two years into that now and having fun with it, and people manufacturers are additionally closely into PHEVs and EVs.”

Taking up the problem

With the cost-of-living disaster nonetheless making its presence identified, are prospects altering their behaviour relating to buying a automotive? In Atherton’s expertise, not likely.

He stated: “We’re nonetheless busy. We’re nonetheless struggling to get sufficient used automobiles, and for brand spanking new automobiles we’re simply taking a number of orders for the longer term. We’ve obtained automobiles on the bottom that we used to have simply to point out folks, so now we’ve obtained two showrooms filled with automobiles and that’s it. So, I believe we’re managing fairly effectively. Prospects are nonetheless shopping for, the whole lot’s going up in value as a result of they’re half exchanges are price extra.”

On the expansion of the enterprise, Rainworth’s final acquisition was in 2020 with the acquisition of

R N Golden, however they’re nonetheless looking out for alternatives, with the proper of companies. Atherton added: “We’re nonetheless speaking to folks as we converse, and we’re seeking to purchase, like we did with RN Golden, straight from an proprietor that runs the corporate fingers on as a result of these kind of individuals need the workers taken care of in addition to the shoppers.

We’re like them, we now have good loyal workers and implausible prospects that come again to us time and time once more, why would we wish to give all that as much as anyone that’s not going to take care of them?”

Final 12 months was optimistic for the group, with Atherton reporting that regardless of many challenges it did “higher than ever, promoting just a few much less however making a bit extra”.

It began 2023 planning conservatively, anticipating a gradual begin, however issues have been higher than anticipated. Atherton stated: “We anticipate issues to decelerate a bit, but it surely hasn’t but.

We put in some fairly damaging budgets this 12 months considering that it was going to be a bit extra of a consolidation 12 months with the cost-of-living disaster, however we’re discovering that ŠKODA is a go-to model.

Would you now commerce in your BMW or your Audi and have a ŠKODA as a result of it’s the extra knowledgeable and clever selection? That helps us and we get folks from each side. It’s aspirational, however equally it’s a smart model to purchase.”

Atherton concluded by touching briefly on the company model. He stated: “It’s coming with the Volkswagen Group. We’re fairly open minded and are completely satisfied that the model will do the best factor. The best way we’re it’s that there can be alternatives as a part of that shift ought to it occur.”


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