Nelson’s Bowater Toyota has taken out the coveted 2016 Toyota Dealer of the Year at the annual Toyota Dealer Awards ceremony in Auckland over the weekend. It’s a hat trick for Bowater Toyota, with 2016’s recognition being the dealerships third consecutive Dealer of the Year win for overall excellence in all aspects of dealership operations.
Toyota New Zealand has been hosting a Dealership Awards ceremony for more than 30 years to recognise the continuous commitment and high level of performance that Toyota dealerships deliver. This year’s celebrations included guest attendance by Toyota Japan representative, Masakazu Yoshimura, alongside brand ambassadors; golden girl Dame Valerie Adams and Kiwi musical talent, Jason Kerrison.
Family owned Bowater Toyota - which operates in Nelson, Richmond and Motueka - claimed the top award over fellow finalists Rutherford & Bond Toyota (Wellington) and Miles Toyota (Christchurch).
Adding to their crown of success, Bowater Toyota also received the Used Vehicle Excellence Cup and the Parts and Accessories Excellence Cup.
The company’s CEO, Tony Bowater, believes the awards reflect the Bowater team’s collective understanding of how a strong and healthy community through respect for people, encouragement and continuous improvement directly supports a strong and healthy business.
"The winning formula we have, in short, is the people. We are immensely proud to stand behind our region and feel their support of our business. These awards are a reflection of our region and the wonderful culture we have here,” says Mr Bowater.
“We believe in the Toyota ethos whole-heartedly. Being able to deliver clear directives as to why we do what we do is something that can only be achieved by listening to our customers and driving the business forward.”
Even with a third consecutive win, Bowater admits the past year wasn’t short of its challenges.
“No bones about it, 2016 has been tough. Customer expectations and the speed and flow of information places an increasing demand on our team, but our focus on putting the customer experience first has kept us consistently at the forefront of our business.
“Winning any award within the Toyota network is a huge achievement. Three years in a row for Dealer of the Year alongside winning the Parts & Accessories Cup and the Used Vehicle Cup is incredibly humbling.
“It will be hard to trump for 2017, but that’s just the motivation we need,” says Mr Bowater.
Dealerships acquire points throughout the year across a multitude of aspects including their commitment to company growth, investment in people development and training, customer experience, sales target achievement, facilities and Mystery Shop results with the top three dealerships going on to become finalists.
Tasman Toyota, who claimed the 2015 Service Excellence Cup has taken it up another notch having received both the 2016 President’s Trophy for outstanding customer satisfaction – an award that rewards consistence excellence in customer satisfaction and the 2016 Service Excellence Cup
Manawatu Toyota also performed exceptionally well over 2016 seeing them claim the Excellence in Leadership Award - for exemplary leadership in the advancement of the Manawatu dealership and its people. Hawkes Bay Toyota won the Toyota Financial Services (TFS) Dealer of the Year Award.
Lexus of Wellington was named the prestigious Lexus Dealer of the Year, while Wellington-region based Rutherford & Bond Toyota took out the TFS President’s Trophy.
Kerry Walker, Toyota New Zealand’s Corporate Manager of Franchise Development, says the Dealer Awards represent the primary opportunity for Toyota New Zealand to thank their Dealers not just for their high level of performance but also for their support and commitment to the franchise throughout the year.
“The awards program provides the ultimate recognition to those Toyota Dealers that have both exceeded franchise standards, and gone above and beyond in meeting the needs of our customers,” says Walker.
“It’s only through the strong desire of our Dealer Network to exceed customer expectations that we have been able to maintain our position as the number one selling brand in New Zealand for the last 29 years.”
The Dealership Award ceremony was co-presented with respective representatives from Toyota New Zealand’s brand partners; Financial Services (TFS), The Parenting Place (CEO, Greg Fleming), The Castrol Toyota Racing Series (alumni, Nick Cassidy), Emirates Team New Zealand (sailors, Blair Tuke and Peter Burling), The Department of Conservation (Director General, Lou Sanson) and Lexus brand partner Malaghan Institute (Professor Graham Le Gros).
For more information, please contact:
Kerry Walker, Toyota New Zealand Manager of Franchise Development, Phone (06) 350 3540
Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales, Phone (06) 350 3460
Morgan Dilks, Toyota New Zealand Public Relations, Phone (06) 351 3216