Leading regional Victoria dealer, Graham Thomson Motors of Shepparton, has now won its fifth Kenworth Dealer of the Year award.
Photo caption: From left to right: Mike Dozier – Managing Director, PACCAR Australia; Gerard Michel – General Manager, Graham Thomson Motors; Glenn Leake – Dealer Principal, Graham Thomson Motors; Andrew Hadjikakou – Director of Sales & Marketing, PACCAR Australia.
One of Kenworth’s oldest established dealers, this is the first time in 16 years Graham Thomson Motors has attained the top Kenworth prize for outstanding sales, service and support.
The announcement was made at PACCAR’s annual dealer event, held at the RACV Torquay Resort on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. More than 26 dealerships throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea competed for a range of Kenworth and DAF dealer awards. The Kenworth Dealer of the Year – one of the trucking industry’s most coveted dealer accolades – is judged on a points system across five main areas, including customer service, general dealership performance, truck sales, finance and parts support.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, PACCAR Australia’s Managing Director, Mike Dozier, congratulated Graham Thomson Motors on being one of Kenworth’s top performers and setting a benchmark for other dealers, as well as the industry in general.
“The fact that Graham Thomson Motors has won Kenworth’s highest award five times over the course of three decades, shows its ongoing commitment to customers and its success with the Kenworth brand in regional Australia.”
“It is an extraordinary dealership and a worthy member of Australia’s top dealer network. It has been a strong performer over the years because it continually invests in modern facilities, staff training, and specialist equipment.”
Graham Thomson Motors’ General Manager, Gerard Michel, said he was delighted the dealership had been named 2013 Kenworth Dealer of the Year.
“It’s a great honour to be recognised as the leading dealer by Australia’s leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer. This is especially sweet for us – it is our first major award since our new owners took over in 2011. It’s testament that our dealership continues to deliver a high level of professionalism in not only truck and parts sales, but particularly customer service across all areas of the business,” Gerard said.
Graham Thomson Motors is located on Shepparton’s B-double bypass and near the Hume Highway. It services north-east Victoria, as far north as Swan Hill and Deniliquin, east to Benalla, south to Seymour and west to Bendigo.
The dealership has 53 staff, half of which are employed in the workshop, including 18 mechanics and apprentices. The modern 2.5 hectare complex displays a broad range of new Kenworths and DAFs in various configurations, and has an extensive parts supermarket with more than $1.6 million worth of stock. The workshop features 13 service bays, 10 of which can accommodate B doubles, plus three underground service pits. It maintains a full range of specialist tooling and diagnostic equipment, and can handle any truck maintenance, from a minor service to a full engine rebuild. There are also comfortable driver facilities, including a separate air-conditioned rest area with showers, sleeping quarters, a kitchen and TV lounge.
In addition, the dealership provides 24-hour emergency breakdown service and parts support throughout its territory.
Gerard Michel says his dealership had consistent sales throughout 2013 from small and medium-sized fleets, and owner-drivers. Customers purchased a range of Kenworths for various applications. The best sellers were T909s and T609s for hauling livestock, grain and rice, and the K200 cab-over for carting B double general freight and refrigerated produce. In addition to sales, the dealer remains a focal point for truck servicing and repairs, particularly large fleet operators on the Sydney and Brisbane runs.
“Kenworth is, without question, the best truck range for Australia’s unique conditions,” Gerard said. “It has been the iconic Australian brand for more than 40 years, and its service record speaks for itself. Every model in the range is renowned for its productivity, durability and reliability. They are the trucks of choice for business owners and drivers. It’s a privilege to be part of the PACCAR dealer network which sells and supports Kenworth,” he said.
“We take pride in the work we do. We continue to work hard on improving our service by listening to our customers and addressing their needs, not just what we think they need. Consequently, we are adept at selling the right trucks into the right applications – and that’s why we have a loyal customer base which goes back many years,” Gerard explained.
The Shepparton dealer previously won Kenworth Dealer of the Year award in 1982 (at the time the dealership was named, Bryan Thomson Motors, Graham’s brother), as well as 1985, 1987 and in 1997.
PACCAR Australia also presented the Kenworth Service Dealer of the Year award to Southpac Trucks, and AllRig Parts Dealer of the Year award to Brown & Hurley – Brisbane.
Kenworth trucks are designed and manufactured in Australia to meet the world’s toughest applications. Kenworth, a division of PACCAR Australia, is market leader in heavy duty trucks in Australia. Its trucks are also exported to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. PACCAR Inc, a Six Sigma company, is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.