Wednesday 21 December 2011

Persimmon Homes signs agreement to build 1,985 affordable homes

21 December, 2011


One of the UK’s leading housebuilders has secured funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to build 1,985 affordable homes across England over the next three years.

Persimmon Homes has been awarded funding of £20.64 million to build the homes as part of the Government’s National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP).

Persimmon Homes is the first major housebuilder to be awarded the funding, which is designed to increase the supply of affordable homes in England.

Dr Ashley Lane, group partnerships director for Persimmon Homes, said the funding was great news for both the business and local communities across England. “Construction will begin in 2012 and we are currently evaluating a number of schemes throughout England.

“Our objective is to engage with local authorities and housing associations to deliver low cost homes for both shared ownership and social rent.”

To find out more about Persimmon Homes visit

Released on behalf of Persimmon Homes by Hazel Crawford-Upton. Telephone 01902 714957/07974 230690. Email

Monday 19 December 2011

Kings Lynn Volkswagen boosts its senior management team

A Kings Lynn business has boosted its senior management by appointing a new motoring expert to lead its team.

Graham Mitchell will head up Kings Lynn Volkswagen’s sales team bringing with him over a decade of brand experience.

The 32-year-old, who has moved to the area for family reasons, intends to focus on strengthening the level of customer service and provide the most affordable solution to meet motorists’ needs.

Graham will lead the team of three and could be looking at recruiting an additional team member early next year as the business continues to grow.

The former office based sales manager transferred to the automotive sector after realising he preferred face-to-face contact with customers.

Having worked at a range of Volkswagen sites across the country, with the last six years been in managerial roles, Graham is confident that the Volkswagen customer approach matches his own.

He said: “I am delighted to have joined the Bergen Way Volkswagen team and have instantly been made to feel welcome.

“I have always loved working with the Volkswagen brand, the reliability, quality and unbelievable value is second to none, I just wouldn’t be happy working with a product I did not feel passionate about.

“My first task is getting to know staff and customers and focus on customer service procedures.

“I am looking forward to taking the Kings Lynn Volkswagen team to new successes.”

Austin Seales, Kings Lynn Volkswagen’s brand manager, said: “Graham’s experience and passion is a valuable addition to the team.

“We believe he will make a significant impact with customers during this challenging time in the automotive industry.”

For further information please contact Sue Foster at Connect PR on 01902 714957.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Essex business prepares for fun in the snow

A Chelmsford business is preparing for the impending winter snow by offering thrill seekers an alternative to the traditional sledges.

As the cold weather starts to grip the country Inchcape Volkswagen has fifty sledges in the shape of the iconic Beetle car.

Each sledge comes decorated with livery from the famous Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie.
Darren Thompson, Inchcape Volkswagen’s brand manager, said: “In recent years the amount of snow has increased and people are quick to take advantage of the white stuff.

“But many people can miss out on fun as demand for sledges often outstrips available stock.
“We’re hoping to provide another outlet for people to have fun on the snow, but using a unique sledge.”

The sledges are now available from Inchcape Volkswagen on Westway and come with a free t-shirt for every sledge sold.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Twickenham business receives government training boost

A Twickenham business has introduced a new government-funded apprentice training programme aimed at strengthening its customer service.

Twickenham Volkswagen, in association with the Learning Skills Partnership, has launched a course to introduce new talent into the automotive industry and enhance its offering.

Mikkia Glean-Lewis, from Strawberry Hill, accepted the new customer host role and will begin a six month intensive training programme, resulting in a NVQ Level 2 customer service qualification.

The 18-year-old successfully completed an assessment day which included group exercises and an individual presentation in front of a panel of Inchcape managers and representatives from the Learning Skills Partnership, in addition to a one-to-one interview.

Speaking of her appointment, Mikkia, added: “I had recently completed a business finance administration course at college and decided an apprenticeship would be the ideally opportunity to start building my business skills.

“The interview process was very nerve wracking but I am delighted to have secured the position.

“I’m looking at increasing my product knowledge and help provide customers with the highest level of service.”

The dedicated role was launched following customer feedback. The training programme covers all customer facing skills including body language and problem solving plus in-depth product knowledge.

Volkswagen passenger cars is carrying out a pilot scheme with the Learning Skills Partnership across a number of sites in the UK as course co-ordinator, Lee Wilks explains.

He said: “The on-going pilot scheme has shown promise and will be fully assessed in the near future. We hope the government-funded programme will continue and introduce further customer host roles across the Volkswagen network.”

Twickenham Volkswagen’s brand manager, Mark Foulston, said: “This new role is not about selling its more about being the first point of contact for customers, ensuring their experience is dealt with efficiently and effectively.

“This role is introducing new blood into the industry and therefore a clear training framework will help nurture and develop Mikkia’s skills; after all she could be one of our future managers.”

Friday 9 December 2011

Stourbridge business rewards loyal customer

A Stourbridge company has launched a new initiative to promote its customer loyalty scheme.

Stourbridge Volkswagen, part of Trust Group UK, trialled the use of SMS messages for the first time to ask customers to sign up for its free-to-join scheme which gives customers a range of complimentary services such as free MOT tests for life and monthly complimentary deluxe service washes.

The trial provided automatic entry for all those who signed up into a free prize draw and proved to be incredibly successful, with nearly 200 responses received.

Gillian Hull, from Stourbridge, was picked as the lucky recipient of a Christmas hamper worth £250 by simply joining the Stourbridge Volkswagen customer loyalty scheme.

Andrew Hockedy, managing director of Trust Group UK, said: “It’s all about giving something back.

“We value each and every one of our customers and we wanted to promote our ‘Rewards Loyal Customers’ scheme which offers extra benefits for loyal customers.”

Gillian is delighted to have been selected as the winner of the prize draw.

She said: “The hamper is a fantastic early Christmas present.

“I joined the scheme because loyalty is something I believe in. The extra benefits are fantastic and as the scheme is free to join I had no hesitation in signing up.”

For further information on the customer loyalty scheme please contact your closest retailer, Wolverhampton Volkswagen on 01902 454602, Stourbridge Volkswagen on 01384 397600 or Redditch Volkswagen on 01527 883300 and ask for Claire Walker, customer services manager.

Thursday 8 December 2011

South Wales business appoints two new brand managers

A South Wales business has appointed two of the region’s most experienced automotive managers.

Volkswagen retailer, Sinclair has appointed Clive Hopkins and Tim Gowling to lead their Commercial Vehicle businesses in Swansea and Cardiff.

Clive will bring 35 years of automotive knowledge to the van centre on Gorseinon Road, Swansea, while Tim who has spent 16 years at Sinclair Volkswagen Port Talbot will take over as the head of the Van Centre in Cardiff.

Clive and Tim will be responsible for strengthening the Volkswagen brand and establishing new and maintaining existing relationships with businesses and van drivers in and around South Wales.

Speaking about the new role, Tim said “I’m delighted to be taking this role and look forward to continuing the high quality of customer service”.

“Sinclair Volkswagen’s friendly, professional and dedicated work force will make it an enjoyable working environment.

“My challenge is to expand the business and strengthen our reputation in the local area and it is one that I’m looking forward to progressing.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Aberdeen teenager given exclusive apprenticeship

A young car enthusiast from Aberdeen has embarked on a three-year training course with the aim of becoming the best in the business.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan Horne has been accepted by Volkswagen car retailer, Specialist Cars in Aberdeen to be the latest recruit on the company’s parts apprenticeship scheme

Over the next three years Specialist Cars will invest nearly £40,000 to train Nathan to become a parts advisor.

Nathan started after finishing his GCSE’s at Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen. His ambition to work in the automotive industry was evident in his interview which secured him the apprenticeship.

Nathan said: “I love all types of vehicles and this is my dream job. I am passionate about the Volkswagen brand and I want to go as far in my career as I can.

“I am over the moon to be given this opportunity and very grateful to Specialist Cars for giving me this chance.

“I am determined to show everyone how much this apprenticeship means to me.”

Specialist Cars’ aftersales manager, Scott Brunton, said: “Nathan’s enthusiasm was one of the main reasons why he secured this place on the apprenticeship programme.

“We are confident he will come through the three years with flying colours.”

Volkswagen bring vans to Bridgwater

A south west automotive group has expanded its services for van drivers in the region.

Taunton Van Centre, with all its team, has invested £100,000 in relocating to a new larger state-of-the-art site in Bridgwater to help strengthen its customer service.

The owners, Silver Street Automotive, has redeveloped a disused unit next to its existing car site on Bristol Road to house the growing commercial vehicle range.

The new premises, which will be named Bridgwater Van Centre, will feature three dedicated workshop and MOT bays, a five vehicle showroom plus an extensive forecourt display.

Graeme Panton, operations director at Silver Street Automotive, said: “The relocation provides the ideal platform to showcase the growing Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle range. Its prominent location, close to the M5, will also provide easy access for van drivers.

“The new larger site will enable Silver Street Automotive to grow its commercial vehicle expertise in the area and provide a greater opportunity to expand its team in the future.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming both new and existing customers of the brand through the door,” concluded Graeme.

For further information on the Volkswagen range, servicing or repairs at Bridgwater Van Centre, call 0844 8464028.