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LONG-standing Victorian automotive dealership Patterson Cheney has again taken off back-to-back honours at the prestigious 2024 Automotive Industry Awards held last weekend by the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce.

Patterson Cheney was named Automotive Employer of the Year for the second consecutive time.

President’s Award, Employer of the Year – Patterson Cheney

The presentations of Victoria and Tasmania’s finest automotive businesses and top apprentices were announced at the VACC President’s Gala Dinner, a formal evening that combined industry awards and apprentice graduation festivities. 

Guests heard from master of ceremonies, VACC ambassador Shane Jacobson, and a string of top-notch entertainers on Saturday June 29 at the Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.  

Best Large Automotive Business Tasmania – JMC Automotive Group

Four of the 16 elite businesses, business people and apprentices were announced as leaders in their field hail from the dealership sector.  They were:

  • President’s Award, Employer of the Year – Patterson Cheney
  • Best Large Business (Regional Victoria) – Warragul Nissan & Mitsubishi
  • Best Large Automotive Business Tasmania – JMC Automotive Group
  • VACC Apprentice of the Year – Luke Johnstone, Harrison Motor Group

Patterson Cheney’s head of people and performance, Daniel Waixel, said the company was “absolutely thrilled” with the Automotive Employer of the Year for the second year in a row.

President’s Award, Employer of the Year – Patterson Cheney. Patterson Cheney’s head of people and performance, Daniel Waixel (far right)

“As the largest Victorian-based dealership group, recognition from the AIA is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion of our entire team,” he said. 

“It acknowledges our unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and the satisfaction of our customers and team members alike.

“We are incredibly proud of our team for their outstanding work and achievements.”

Best Large Business (Regional Victoria) – Warragul Nissan & Mitsubishi

Dealerships also played an important part in fostering the next generation of automotive talent, with seven apprenticeship winners working at dealerships across Victoria and Tasmania.

These included Rex Gorell MG, Cranbourne Mitsubishi and Kia, Werribee Kia, Volvo Cars Geelong, Ferntree Gully Hyundai and Kia, Essendon Mazda and Tilford Group. 

Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) CEO Geoff Gwilym said the awards demonstrated member and apprentice commitment to quality and customer service.  

VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym

“It is a huge accolade to be named the best in Victoria and Tasmania. These winners go above and beyond, and have proved themselves more than worthy of these titles,” Mr Gwilym said.  

An independent judge evaluated entries based on business management, workplace practices, customer service and environmental impacts. 

VACC Apprentice of the Year – Luke Johnstone, Harrison Motor Group

To ensure only the finest of VACC and TACC’s 5000 members would be crowned, finalists were randomly audited.

By Neil Dowling

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