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VARIOUS automotive brands including Hyundai, Volkswagen, Skoda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini and Renault have announced the winners of their Dealer of the Year and related awards programs at events held to celebrate the performance of their top-performing retailers in Australia last year.

Hyundai Motor Co Australia’s Platinum Dealer of the Year award went to Cranbourne Hyundai in Melbourne’s outer south-east, led by dealer principal Tom Davis.

Three other Melbourne dealerships in the same Booran Motor Group stable – Berwick Hyundai, Dandenong Hyundai and South Morang Hyundai, all overseen by Booran Motors managing director Steve Cadden – were among the 13 ‘Platinum Dealers’ recognised in the annual points-based awards program, now in its fifth year.

Southern power: No fewer than eight Hyundai dealerships in Melbourne received major awards in the Korean brand’s 2017 retail program, with the Cranbourne team – led by Tom Davis (third from right) – out in front.

The others included another four from Victoria (Doncaster Hyundai, Cranbourne Hyundai, Essendon Hyundai and Harrison Hyundai in Melton), two in Queensland (West-Star Hyundai in Toowoomba, Lakes Hyundai in North Lakes), two in New South Wales (Paul Wakeling Hyundai in Campbelltown, Far West Hyundai in Broken Hill) and one in Western Australia (Rockingham Hyundai).

Wakeling Automotive also featured in Volkswagen’s awards, with Paul Wakeling Volkswagen in Campbelltown honoured as National Dealer of the Year.

The dealership, led by Scott Wakeling, also took out the Metro DOTY award.

The Provincial DOTY award went to Wippells Volkswagen in Toowoomba, Queensland, under the stewardship of general manager Brett Buckley and dealer principals Don and David Russell, while the Rural DOTY award was won by John Oxley Volkswagen in Port Macquarie, NSW, with general manager Shane McGuigan and dealer principal John McGuigan at the helm.

As part of its program, VW awards a select group of 10 retailers ‘Premium Dealer’ status each year, with others reaching this mark in 2017 including one in Adelaide (Southern Volkswagen), three in Melbourne (Bayford Volkswagen Camberwell, Brighton Volkswagen, Waverley Volkswagen) and three in Sydney (McCarroll’s Volkswagen, Sydney City Volkswagen and Leichhardt Volkswagen).

Leichhardt Volkswagen was VW’s National DOTY in 2016.

Volkswagen Group Australia also named its standout dealers for the Skoda brand at a separate event, with Rex Gorell Skoda in Geelong, Victoria, recognised as the overall 2017 Dealer of the Year.

Under the leadership of dealer principal Brett Gorell, the dealership also picked up its second successive Provincial DOTY award, while Alto Skoda Artarmon in Sydney won the Metro DOTY award (accepted by general manager Mark Beuth) and Jarvis Skoda in South Australia’s Barossa Valley (Tanunda) took out the Provincial DOTY award (under dealer principal Christian Di Lorenzo).

The company also announced Brisbane Skoda as its 2017 Financial Services DOTY, with dealer principal Craig Burgess accepting the award.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific has staged a presentation for its top-performing passenger-car dealers – separate announcements are made for other divisions, such as vans – and Mercedes-Benz Berwick in Melbourne’s outer-east was again a standout performer, securing the 2016 Metropolitan Dealer of the Year award – its fourth in the space of five years.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific managing director and CEO Horst von Sanden (right) with Mercedes-Benz Berwick dealer principal Craig Howard (with trophy) and Patterson Cheney CEO Cameron Bertalli (with envelope). Also present: Mercedes-Benz Aust/Pac sales director Brad Kelly (second from left) and marketing general manager Jason Nomikos (far left).

Mercedes-Benz Sydney was runner-up in the metro category, and Mercedes-Benz G Brothers – also in Sydney – was declared second runner-up.

No Provincial/Rural DOTY was awarded, with Mercedes-Benz Aust/Pac offering no comment on why this was the case.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz Townsville in Queensland was named 2016 Provincial/Rural DOTY, ahead of Carlin and Gazzard in Mount Gambia, South Australia, and Wagga Motors in the NSW Riverina.

BMW Group Australia has also announced the winners of its annual BMW DOTY and Mini Excellence awards.

Coastline BMW on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast made it back-to-back wins for the German prestige brand’s Dealer of the Year award – and its fifth overall title – and in doing so again took out the Provincial DOTY category.

This was Coastline’s first win under new owner Autopact (formerly Crick Automotive Group), which took over from the Kurz family last year. Dealer principal Brad Butcher, who was previously general manager of the dealership, was on hand to receive the awards.

Similarly going through an ownership change (now part of the Autosports Group) and a major restructure last year, Doncaster BMW in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs – led by dealer principal Brent Polites – was also a standout, winning the Major Metropolitan DOTY award, BMW Financial Services DOTY award and a Mini Excellence award (Group 2).

From left: Volkswagen Financial Services Front Office managing director Joern Kurzrock, Jarvis Skoda DP Christian Di Lorenzo, Alto Skoda Artarmon general manager Mark Beuth, Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer, Rex Gorell Skoda DP Brett Gorell and Brisbane City Skoda DP Craig Burgess.

Among other dealers recognised for their top performance were Westside BMW in Brisbane (Small Metro DOTY) and Shepparton BMW in Victoria (Rural DOTY).

Runners up in the major categories were Brisbane BMW (Major Metro), Brighton BMW (Small Metro), Worthington BMW (Provincial) in Kariong, NSW, and McGuigan BMW (Rural) in Port Macquarie.

Brisbane Mini Garage also took out an Excellence award in Group 1, while Worthington secured Group 3.

No longer bestowing an overall Dealer Brilliance for Excellence Award to a single dealership, Renault Australia has restructured its program to recognise the top-performing metro and provincial dealers and outstanding contributions from others.

Two previous winners of the award – Essendon Renault and Ballarat Renault, both in Victoria – were named Metropolitan and Provincial DOTY respectively.

The metro finalists included Brisbane’s Village Renault in North Lakes and Adelaide’s Main North Renault in Nailsworth, while provincial finalists included Neil Buckby Renault in Launceston and Warrnambool Renault in Victoria.

Outstanding contribution awards were given to Sydney’s Peter Warren Renault in Warwick Farm and Melbourne’s Brighton Renault.

By Terry Martin

Renault Australia managing director Andrew Moore (left) with Essendon Renault’s Don Calvert, Peter Morris and Christian de Palma

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