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In a remarkable joint win, Bowater Toyota and South Canterbury Toyota have both taken home the Toyota Supreme Award at the hotly contested Toyota and Lexus Business Excellence Awards, held in Auckland on March 12.
The Toyota Supreme Award is awarded for overall excellence in all aspects of Toyota store operations, market leadership and facilities. There is fierce competition each year for the Toyota Supreme Award among the 64 Toyota and Lexus stores spread across the nation, from Whangarei to Invercargill.
Due to an exceptionally high standard of candidates this year, judges chose to dually award both Bowater and South Canterbury businesses with the Toyota Supreme Award, considering both stores worthy of taking away the title. It is two years in a row at the top for South Canterbury Toyota.
Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager, says the awards celebrate the vital contribution of the stores to the ongoing trust in the Toyota brand in New Zealand - something that was needed more than ever during the past year.
“To say that the business environment over the past 12 months has been challenging would be an understatement - with lockdowns, economic downturn and struggling communities abound, 2020 has presented stores with a kind of operating conditions they’ve never seen before,” Mr Prangnell says.
“Despite this, the efforts and success of the Toyota store network throughout the past year have been nothing short of amazing due to a combo of focus and effort, the two things they can control, which has delivered exceptional results across the board. The sales of new vehicles grew in the latter months of 2020; Toyota continues to lead the market with an 18.1% share of all new passenger and commercial registrations; and our market share has improved by 2.4%, all of which are great results despite the challenges 2020 presented.”
2020’s Toyota Supreme Award winners, Bowater Toyota and South Canterbury Toyota, are no strangers to the Toyota Business Excellence Awards, both having taken out various titles in previous years. Bowater Toyota has been awarded Store of the Year an impressive three times (2014, 2015, and 2016) while South Canterbury Toyota took the same award away in 2019. Both stores employ a dedicated team of people who strive to satisfy customers' needs with a view to building long term relationships.
The Chief Executives of each winning branch have long histories of service and loyalty to the Toyota brand - Tony Bowater, Chief Executive of Bowater Toyota, is a third-generation branch owner, while South Canterbury Toyota’s Chief Executive Craig McDermid has been in the motoring industry for over 32 years.
Bowater Toyota has Toyota stores in Nelson, Richmond and Motueka. South Canterbury Toyota operates four South Island Toyota stores - Blenheim Toyota, Rangiora Toyota, Kaiapoi Toyota, and Ashburton Toyota.
It was also a successful night for Manukau Toyota, who were awarded - Excellence in Leadership for displaying exemplary leadership in the advancement of the stores’ people and the franchise. Manawatu Toyota took home the President’s Trophy for outstanding customer service.
“Having clear Awards criteria gives stores targets to aim for, and every year the competition seems to be more intense as our stores aim for continuous improvement,” Mr Prangnell says.
Other awards went to