Harwoods website takes top dealer award

SUSSEX-based Harwoods Group has managed to beat strong competition from four rivals to win the title ‘Best Dealer Website’ in the prestigious Automotive Management Awards, in a category sponsored by Motors.co.uk.

Organised annually by Automotive Management, one of the country’s leading motor trade media concerns, the Automotive Management (AM) awards are amongst the most important in the motor industry covering more than 20 different categories. The 20th AM Awards took place at the ICC in Birmingham on Wednesday February 16.

On its website AM states that having a strong profile online is vital for a dealership to prosper. It is often the first place that customers will look when researching their next car purchase. The website is a crucial marketing tool that should bring in a significant proportion of leads. It is increasingly a means by which a dealer can build and maintain relationships with its customers.

The judges are looking for a website that is easy to use, fast, functional, and attractive, a site that encourages people to spend a lot of time viewing it and coming back to it.

It needs to be kept up to date, make good use of pictures and be informative. The judges look for examples of innovation that places a website as a cornerstone of a dealer’s business. Entries are accepted from franchised and independent car and LCV dealers.

Harwoods Chief Executive Glyn Woodage said: “I am delighted to announce that in this year’s Automotive Management Dealer of the Year awards in Birmingham, Harwoods Group were successful in winning the award for Best Dealer Website. Harwoods director, Ed Oakley, was there in person to collect the award. In the citation, our website was described as follows:

“In just three months, the Group website generated 6,000 phone calls, thanks to the fast loading with one-click access for new and used stock, finance offers, on-line chat and the unique Harwoods Club members area.

“The other nominees up for this award were Lifestyle Europe Ltd, Marshalls Motor Group, Jemca Car Group and Autoquake.com. In addition to our success in the category ‘Best Dealer Website,’ the manufacturers that we represent also managed to achieve awards this year. Land Rover won the award for the Best Car Manufacturer and Jaguar for the Best Model with the new XJ.”

Ed Oakley commented: “With so many of the dealers and manufacturers well represented at the Awards ceremony, Harwoods Group received valuable exposure in obtaining this accolade.”

Log on to www.harwoods.uk.com/amaward to view the UK’s best dealer website and to discover more about the Harwoods Group and its prestigious franchises. You can also view this website while on the move via an iPhone ‘app’ or indeed any smart phone where there’s enough signal for a mobile internet connection.