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INCHCAPE Australia executive and franchise director for the company’s Melbourne retail operations, Richard George, died unexpectedly on the evening of September 15.

Inchcape said that Mr George was “a much loved, valued and respected member of our Inchcape community”.

“He brought a sense of optimism and love for life to everything he did and has created a legacy within the organisation that will not be forgotten,” the company said in a statement.

“His joyous personality, remarkable sense of humour and most impactful, his passion, left a mark on everyone he worked with. There are no words to describe how much he will be missed.”

Mr George joined Inchcape Australia in December 2018 as the dealer principal of Trivett Classic BMW and in September 2019, became franchise director for Inchcape’s retail operations in Melbourne across the Subaru, Peugeot and Citroen brands.

Before joining Inchcape, the company said that Mr George “had a storied career” that started when he left school at age 16 to work in sales in the automotive industry. 

In 1987, while working for Godfrey Davis Ford in St Alban’s in Hertfordshire, he sold a Ford Fiesta XR2 to a lady named Karen, who later became his wife.

Richard George

In 1990 he moved from his job at Ford to a Volkswagen dealership in Welwyn Garden City where he was a sales consultant until 1993 when he joined Milton Keynes Motor Group, selling Toyota. 

It was there that he was introduced to the then newly-launched brand in the UK market, Lexus, which he became the brand manager of before moving to HR Owen in 1993 to become the sales manager for Lexus in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. 

He remained in that position from 1993 to 1999 when he became HR Owen’s dealer principal of the new Lexus operation in Hatfield, just north of London.  

Inchcape said that from there, his career really prospered and “he was a very well-regarded member of the Lexus UK dealer board and a well-known and extremely popular character in the UK Lexus network”.

He became franchise manager, with responsibility for two Lexus operations in Hatfield and in Brighton (Sussex).

When Lookers plc purchased both of the businesses in 2006 to complement their existing Lexus operations in Southend-on-Sea and in Belfast, Mr Geoge was retained as franchise manager for the Lexus brand in England.

In 2013, along with his Lexus responsibility, he managed a Jaguar Land Rover business in Chipperfield in Hertfordshire.

In 2018, he was approached to come across to Australia and join the Inchcape Australia group.

By Neil Dowling

Branded Financial