Hard work leads to double achievement for loyal Ford Direct employee

Posted on 26 Jun 2008

It’s been a double celebration for a loyal member of staff at Jennings Ford Direct in South Shields.

Not only is after sales manager, Brian Johnston, 55, from South Shields, celebrating winning The Chairman’s Award, one of Ford’s most prestigious awards for exceeding in customer satisfaction at the South Shields dealership, but he’s also just been rewarded for achieving 35 years’ loyalty to the company.

For loyal and dedicated Brian, the world of motors started as soon as he left school. At the tender age of 15, Brian was taken on as an apprentice mechanic at the former F Rounthwaite Garage, which was located adjacent to the current Jennings Ford Direct dealership based on Newcastle Road in South Shields.

“I always knew I wanted to work in motors and being taken on as an apprentice mechanic was the first step towards a long and successful career in motors for me,” said Brian.

In 1972, Brian was taken on as a mechanic at JenningsFord, formerly Selwoods of South Shields. In 1979, Brian decided it was time for a change and transferred from the workshop to the service reception where he spent time as a service receptionist, prior to gaining experience as a workshop controller. In 1981, Brian was promoted to service manager/aftersales manager.

Over the years, Brian has witnessed a number of changes within the industry, the most significant being the advances in technology.

“When I was serving my apprenticeship, everything was done manually and there was no need for the use of diagnostic tools. Nowadays, however, it would be impossible to service vehicles or carry out repairs without the aid of computer technology.”

His current role of service manager/aftersales manager, involves Brian being responsible for the day-to-day running of the service and bodyshop departments, overseeing a team of 34 members of staff, in addition to ensuring customers consistently receive the highest standard of customer service.

Operations director, Nicky Dalkin, paid a special visit to the dealership to present Brian with his loyalty vouchers.

“Brian is one of many employees who are loyal and longstanding. It was an absolute pleasure presenting the vouchers to Brian, who is undoubtedly a valuable asset to the company” said Nicky Dalkin.

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