Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Marshall Motor Group gains SAF Approval

Cambridge’s Marshall Motor Group is the latest high-profile motor dealer to achieve SAF Approved status under the Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) initiative. The accolade comes after months of hard work by the dealer’s staff and means that Marshall Motor Group customers can be sure that they are getting expert information on motor finance products like Personal Contract Purchase and Hire Purchase.

SAF was introduced by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) – the trade body for the motor finance industry – in 2007 to improve knowledge in showrooms and increase customer confidence in motor finance. SAF Approved demonstrates to customers that a business has committed to educate its staff on how to sell motor finance. Around 300 Marshall staff from some 67 dealerships have passed the online SAF competence test to achieve the increasingly popular kite-mark.

Marshall Motor Group’s inclusion in SAF coincides with growing consumer interest in the ‘Dealer Directory’ ( that enables car buyers to search for their nearest SAF Approved showroom. With 21 of the top 30 dealers in the UK now recognised as SAF Approved, more and more businesses are getting involved, as savvy customers demand accurate information about motor finance.

Paul Harrison, Head of Motor Finance at the FLA, said:
SAF is a kite-mark to give consumers confidence about the motor finance information they receive. If customers are given clear and reliable information on why a particular product is right for them then this will inspire confidence and hopefully keep customers coming back in the future.
I am pleased that Marshall Motor Group is SAF Approved. This now means that 70% of the top 30 groups have voluntarily raised standards on motor finance for their customers. We continue to speak to all groups about SAF.”

Sue Myers, Head of Finance and Insurance at Marshall Motor Group, said:
Marshall Motor Group is delighted to become SAF Approved. The hard work that has been undertaken by the sales teams to achieve the necessary standards shows our continued commitment to offering customers the highest levels of advice and service. Visitors to our nationwide dealerships can be confident that they will be guided to the most suitable finance deal for them by our trained staff thanks, in part, to the SAF competence test. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

MMG Triumphs at the Motor Trader Awards

At the glittering Motor Trader Awards ceremony in London this evening, Marshall Motor Group has picked up no fewer than 3 of the most prestigious awards and was shortlisted in 2 further categories.
The first award of the night went to Grantham Volvo which was named as FRANCHISED DEALERSHIP OF THE YEAR.  This award was collected by General Manager Bob Bean on behalf of his team and this caps off a remarkable year for Grantham Volvo – they have already been named as the No.1 Volvo dealership in the UK and now they know they are the best dealership in the UK.  Well done to Bob and everyone at Grantham Volvo.
Next up, much to his surprise, was Daksh Gupta, on behalf of the Group, who was invited up to collect the DEALER GROUP OF THE YEAR award for the 2nd year running.  This is an extraordinary achievement for the Group as we are not aware of any other Group which has won it in consecutive years.  This award is for “the dealer group which has implemented the most successful strategy for developing sales and profitability in the past year.  The judges were looking for a group which has set standards that competitors would be proud to emulate, and also for a group setting best industry practices.”
Then came the icing on the cake and a fabulous surprise for Daksh personally when he was called up again, this time to be presented with the OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.  This award is presented to “the person who in the view of the judging panel has most notably raised the profile and enhanced the reputation of the UK motor trade.  The judges were looking for the individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the UK car retailing sector and aim to reward high levels of professionalism, innovation and community spirit.”

The awards were all presented by Jake Humphrey, the BBC Formula One commentator (born in Peterborough!) at a black tie dinner in the magnificent Grosvenor House Hotel in central London.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, Daksh said: “I was so thrilled that Grantham Volvo won the Franchised Dealership of the Year award.  Bob and the whole team there really deserved to win and I’m delighted that the judges agreed!  When it came to the Dealer Group of the Year Award, I have to admit I did not think they would give it to the same group 2 years’ running, even if we were a serious contender, so when they called out our name I could hardly believe it – what a testament to every colleague in Marshall who contributed to making this possible – I am so proud.  After I had collected that award and had my photograph taken with the sponsor, I had only just sat down, reflecting on a remarkable night when suddenly everyone around me was telling me to get back up on the stage.  At first I didn’t believe them but then I realised that it was true!”

Needless to say, Daksh didn’t see why he had been chosen for this award final award, the highlight of the whole awards ceremony, even if the rest of know, and his first comment to me was “but I’m only 40 – I thought you had to be much older to get an award like that!”
Well done Daksh on a much deserved award which reflects well on the rest of the business!!
The Group was also shortlisted in the MOST IMPROVED DEALERSHIP category for Peterborough Vauxhall and also in the ONLINE INNOVATION category for Phoenix.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

New generation to step up at Marshall

Sir Michael Marshall, Group Chairman and Chief Executive of the Marshall Group of Companies, one of the UK’s leading family-owned companies, has announced that in 2012 he will be dividing the responsibilities of this dual role, reflecting the substantial growth of the Group in recent years, where annual sales have now reached £1bn.
From January next year, his son Robert Marshall will be taking on the role and duties of Group Chief Executive, working alongside Sir Michael who will remain as Executive Chairman. Robert Marshall joined the family business in 1994.  Sir Michael Marshall has held the combined role of Chairman and Chief Executive since 1990 and is proud to have led the Company’s growth during that period and to have seen it celebrate its centenary in 2009.

Making the announcement about Robert’s forthcoming appointment Sir Michael Marshall said: “I am delighted that Robert will be taking on this responsibility for the Group and that he will be working with me, continuing our family’s close involvement with the day-to-day running of our businesses, through the Chief Executives, over 4 generations.  We are enormously proud of what we have achieved over the last 102 years and look forward confidently towards the future.”
The Marshall Group, which started out as a small chauffeur drive business in Cambridge, has grown to become a well respected name in the motor retail, aerospace and vehicle engineering industry sectors, with 4,500 staff employed across the UK and in offices around the world. Speaking about his new appointment, Robert Marshall said: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to continue the family tradition and to follow in the footsteps of my father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  By holding to the core values on which we have built this business and by remaining independent, we have managed to modernise and adapt in each of our core businesses over the years to be in a position to take advantage of the many opportunities which have come our way.”
Sir Michael Marshall CBE DL took the helm of his family’s diverse group of businesses in January 1990, following the retirement of his father Sir Arthur Marshall OBE DL, who had in turn succeeded his father, David Marshall MBE in 1942.  Robert Marshall was educated at Eton and at Cambridge University, where he gained a First Class Degree in Engineering from Pembroke College.
The Marshall Group of Companies ( was founded by David Marshall on 1st October 1909 as a small chauffeur drive business and now comprises 4 main businesses:
Marshall Motor Group, ( led by Chief Executive Daksh Gupta, has taken advantage of the recent challenging economic conditions to grow the business through selected acquisition and has added 27 new businesses to the group since January 2009.  The group now has 67 franchised dealer businesses representing 28 manufacturer brands from Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire in the north to Buckinghamshire and Hert5fordshire in the south.  All of these acquisitions have been funded entirely by cash generated in the existing motor businesses.  With over 2,000 employees, Marshall Motor Group is the second largest privately-owned dealer group in the UK. Marshall Leasing is subsidiary of Marshall Motor Group and manages a fleet of 5,000 vehicles on contract hire and fleet management for a number of blue-chip companies.

Marshall Aerospace ( is led by Chief Executive Steve Fitz-Gerald.  Marshall Aerospace (MA) is the United Kingdom’s leading independent aerospace company and is renowned and respected for its quality-of-service, engineering excellence, flexibility and reliability.  MA uses its engineering expertise and proven programme management skills to deliver best-in-class, cost-effective and innovative solutions that add value to its customers’ activities. The Company is an independent service provider - specialising in the conversion, modification, maintenance and support of aircraft - and its capabilities include: engineering design, manufacture and test; and the provision of personnel, training and consultancy.  It also has one of the largest aerospace engineering teams in the UK - covering all aspects of design, test, certification and support, in civil and military regulatory environments - and recognised for its innovative solutions and ability to deliver on-time and to-cost.  Marshall Aerospace holds many type approvals - granted by national and international authorities, airlines, airframe manufacturers and defence agencies – enabling the company to design and certify modifications on a number of commercial and military platforms.

Marshall Land Systems (MLS) ( is led by Chief Executive Peter Callaghan and specialises in defence vehicle and shelter design, manufacture, integration and product support.  The company has five major components, which design and produce shelters and specialist vehicles, manufacture vehicle load beds, a specialist design division which carries out Urgent Operational Requirement(UOR) work, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI), Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC), Safety Cases and Consultancy, a fleet solutions division dedicated to provision of whole fleet support and an armouring solutions joint venture.  In 2010 the company established Marshall Land Systems Australia Pty Ltd to further its activities in the Asia-Pacific area and, Marshall SV Norway, to support its work in that country.

Cambridge Airport ( is headed by Airport Director Archie Garden. Cambridge Airport primarily targets the east of England market with a strong focus on Cambridge and its business, academic and industrial. It is also a strong provider to the equine community as it is just 10 miles from Newmarket and offers regular services for the transportation of horses.  Cambridge Airport is home to a variety of aviation service providers including charter operator Marshall Executive Aviation (MEA) which operates a Cessna Citation Bravo and Citation XLS as well as a Bombardier Challenger 300.  Other aviation companies include Capital Air Services and several GA flight training operators. It is also home of the East Anglian Air Ambulance service operated by Bond Helicopters.  A fully authorised Cessna Service centre is located at the airport.