Birchwood Group Staff Profiles:

Alastair - Sales Manager

Alastair manages one of our Skoda sales teams and has been in this role for 4 years. After taking his A levels, Alastair had a place at University but decided he wanted to leave full time education. He secured a job as an assistant trainee retail outlet manager, eventually progressing to Manager. After 2 years in a retail environment he moved to digital advertising sales, a role he really enjoyed as he was running the classified for three B2B magazines. However, he recognised that the opportunities for progression were limited so he decided to take a gamble and change career direction. Having always had an interest in cars, Alastair sent his CV to as many car dealerships as he could in the area enquiring about vacancies and we offered him a trainee sales position at our Eastbourne Ford dealership in 2007.

Alastair spent 3 years as a Ford sales executive before transferring to our Eastbourne Skoda dealership as a senior sales executive in 2010. Six years ago he was selected by the Volkswagen Group (which owns Skoda) to take part in their Business Manger programme. This programme trains and accredits people to run the finance operation in the sales team. Having successfully completed the 12-month programme Alastair was then quickly promoted to the sales manager role, the youngest manager in the Group. Alastair enjoys he challenge of working to target and the fact that every day is different.

Steve - Eastbourne Ford Car Sales Executive

Steve joined our Eastbourne Ford team in 2016. Having left full time education without a clear vision of what he wanted to do, Steve worked in a variety of roles such as the Hotel and Leisure industry, IT and even a period as a self-employed IT engineer. Eventually Steve started work as a general assistant at a Bingo Hall, quickly progressing to assistant manager in his first year and finally becoming the General Manager, a position he held for 4 years.

A common theme throughout all of his roles is the need to get on with people and Steve was frequently told how good he would be in a Sales role. He decided to combine his interest in cars with the opportunity to sell and applied for a trainee car sales executive position.  Despite never having worked in sales before, Steve was an immediate success in the sales team and is now a full sales executive.

Steve really values working alongside motivated people and believes that the high motivation levels at Birchwood help everyone to succeed. With the reward and remuneration schemes on offer, Steve feels that his hard work is recognised rewarded with excellent earning potential. ​

Libby - Service Advisor

Libby originally came to Birchwood as a customer, buying a Kia Rio from our Eastbourne team. When she had the misfortune to suffer a flat tyre, she came back to the dealership and got into a conversation with the service manager who told her he was looking to recruit a trainee service advisor so she applied and got the job! Originally trained as a Dental Nurse, Libby relished the opportunity to take on a new challenge and has quickly qualified as a Kia UK Bronze level service advisor only 12 months after joining us. She is due to take her silver level qualification in 2017.

Libby enjoys being busy as every day is different and she gets to meet lots of new people. Her colleagues recognise what a great job she does for us as they successfully nominated her for our monthly staff appreciation award and she received Red Letter day vouchers as a thank you for her excellent work.