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Highlights of 2016 for Volvo Trucks and Thomas Hardie

The past year was an eventful one both for Volvo Trucks and for Thomas Hardie in particular, with plenty of excitement and achievement to look back on from 2016 as a whole.

Here are some of our personal highlights from a year that saw Volvo Trucks and Thomas Hardie both go from strength to strength.

Sales Team of the Year 2016

Possibly the biggest achievement of the year came towards the end of 2016, when Thomas Hardie Commercials took the title of Sales Team of the Year at the Commercial Motor Dealer Awards.

The new awards were presented for the first time on November 23rd 2016, with Thomas Hardie scooping one of the ceremony’s most fiercely fought accolades.

It wasn’t our only success at the ceremony either, with Thomas Hardie Commercials also coming in Highly Commended for the Franchised Dealer of the Year category.

Hello (again) to Ronnie Kelsall

Late November 2016 also saw us say an official hello to our new Used Vehicle Regional Sales Executive, Ronnie Kelsall – although it was more like ‘hello again’.

That’s because Ronnie’s previous role was in the aftermarket team at Thomas Hardie Commercials, where many of you may already know him.

Ronnie’s commitment cannot be faulted – he has been known to drive personally from Middlewich to Exeter, a distance of over 200 miles, to deliver a replacement turbo to a stranded customer in need.

It was Ronnie’s work ethic that originally caught the eye of our Business Development Manager Jonathan Bownes, who recruited him into the team, and we know he will bring that same drive and passion to his new role in 2017.

Jonathan Bownes scores Outstanding at Volvo Rubicon

Jonathan impressed in his own right in 2016 after attending the challenging Volvo Rubicon training course, a programme of professional development hosted by Volvo over a period of months.

The programme isn’t just about giving participants an edge in truck sales, but is also about passing on the benefits to customers too, as well as listening and responding to customer feedback.

It was originally designed in response to a simple question: “If we were going to design the perfect development programme for sales managers, what would we do?”

We are proud – although not surprised – to say that Jonathan came through the course with flying colours, scoring himself an Outstanding rating overall, and proving his own work ethic and customer commitment.

Facing the Fan Dance

Finally on a more personal note, the summer of 2016 saw Jonathan, Glyn Evans and Tom Buckley pit themselves against a gruelling challenge known as the Fan Dance.

They did so in memory of our great friends Mark Smith, who we lost just before Christmas 2015, and Karl Graves, whose passing reached its tenth anniversary in 2016, and raised close to their £1,000 target this time around.

Despite its light-hearted name, the Fan Dance is anything but, as participants face a 24km race across Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, all while carrying 35lb backpacks – a challenge so tough, it’s part of the final selection for SAS contenders.

We’d like to take this extra opportunity to thank everyone who donated to our JustGiving page for the challenge, as well as to urge readers to make a donation to St Luke’s Hospice in Cheshire in 2017 in memory of our departed friends.


Looking ahead to 2017

So what does the next year have in store for Thomas Hardie? Well, we’re already looking forward to further development and strengthening of our team, no doubt with a few fresh faces along the way.

The CV segment continually posts even stronger growth than is forecast – proof of how essential these powerful vehicles are to the nation’s economy on a daily basis.

With the start of a whole new year, it’s a time for optimism as Thomas Hardie look ahead to 12 more successful months driving truck sales higher, and putting even more drivers at the wheel of a Volvo Truck.

20 Jan 2017

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