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VOLVO Cars South Yarra has emerged as the Swedish brand’s top-performing dealership in 2018, winning the overall award, which includes the major metropolitan category, in Volvo Car Australia’s annual Pinnacle Awards of Excellence program.

Ending the run of wins from Volvo Cars Sydney, which took back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017, Volvo Cars South Yarra is led by dealer principal Sue Alford and chief executive Colin Gamble, and is part of the large Stillwell Motor Group.

Stillwell also represents the brand in Camberwell and Doncaster (Silverstone) and has BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volkswagen dealerships in its stable.

Swede taste of success: Volvo South Yarra CEO Colin Gamble (left) and dealer principal Sue Alford with Volvo Car Australia managing director Nick Connor.

This is the first time the South Yarra dealership has won the award. Volvo Cars Perth (Barbagallo Motors) was runner-up, while Volvo Cars Geelong (Rex Gorell Group) took out the Metropolitan dealer of the year award, ahead of Volvo Cars Adelaide (Solitaire Automotive Group) in second place.

Meanwhile, Volvo Cars Southern Highlands – aka Allan Mackay Volvo – in Moss Vale, New South Wales, was named best rural dealership for the third year in a row. Volvo Cars Central West (John Davis Motor Group) in Orange, NSW, was runner-up.

In accepting the major award, Ms Alford thanked the South Yarra dealership’s customers and staff, some of whom also performed with distinction in individual categories.

Among them, Madie Moore came runner up in the major metro sales consultant of the year award, while colleague Sean Chen from the group’s Doncaster dealership was in first place.

“As a family-owned business with over 20 years of Volvo experience, winning this award reinforces our belief in the Volvo brand and our desire to deliver on the brand promise to our customers every day through an outstanding level of service,” Ms Alford said.

Geelong’s win marked a return to the top of the podium for the Gorell Group, which took out the metropolitan award in 2016, but in 2017 the category was won by Volvo Cars Penrith (Annlyn Motors) in Sydney’s west.

Dealer principal Jason Gorell said that “2018 was another great year for our dealership, and we are very excited and proud to be taking this award home with us”.

Volvo Cars Southern Highlands dealer principal David Mackay (left) with VCA managing director Nick Connor.

“Our partnership with Volvo is highly valued and we foresee a bright future, particularly with the product range and with the brand direction in the years ahead,” he said.

Volvo Cars Southern Highlands dealer principal David Mackay said: “Winning the Pinnacle Award of Excellence for the third year is a fantastic achievement for our business.

“As a proud Volvo dealer for over 30 years, we have always been delighted to represent Volvo in the southern highlands. This award underlines the hard work by all of our staff as they continually strive for excellence in customer service.”

As with other retail incentive programs, Volvo’s ‘Pinnacle’ awards are judged on various aspects of participating dealers’ business, such as customer service satisfaction, sales, aftersales and market share.

Volvo Car Australia managing director Nick Connor described the assessment criteria as rigorous, adding that “our 2018 award winners thoroughly deserve their success, and we are very pleased to be able to recognise the outstanding efforts of our best and most dedicated dealers”.

Volvo defied the downward market trends last year to post an outstanding 43 per cent year-on-year increase in sales, to 6693 units, which was its best result since the mid-1970s when it was assembling cars in Australia.

The increase is largely attributed to its highly acclaimed new XC40 small SUV, which racked up 1588 sales, while improved supplies and ongoing demand for its top-selling XC60 saw the mid-size SUV climb almost 50 per cent to 2827 sales compared to 2017.

By Terry Martin

Volvo Cars Geelong dealer principal Jason Gorell (left) with VCA managing director Nick Connor.

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