Published: 03 Sep 2018

Staff at Jennings Motor Group bid a fond farewell to loyal Brian, after 46 years’ service

A dedicated member of the aftersales management team at Jennings Motor Group, has clocked into work for the very last time.

Brian Johnston, 66, from South Shields, who began his career as a mechanic at Jennings Ford Direct, formerly known as Selwoods of South Shields, in 1972, has officially retired from work.

Brian’s career in the motor industry started as soon as he left school, at the age of 15, when he was taken on as an Apprentice mechanic at the former F Routhwaite Garage, located adjacent to Jennings Motor Group’s Ford Direct dealership in South Shields.

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It was 46 years ago when Brian decided to change employer and started working at Selwoods on Commercial Road in South Shields, prior to moving to Newcastle Road when it opened.  Seven years later, Brian decided it was time for a change and started gaining experience on the service desk as a service receptionist, prior to also gaining experience as a workshop controller.

In 1981, Brian was promoted to service manager/aftersales manager, and gained valuable experience working at a number of the group’s service departments.  During his time in this role, Brian and his team also celebrated winning Ford’s most prestigious award for customer satisfaction, The Chairman’s Award, on several occasions.

A further promotion took place in 2013, when he took on the role of group service and bodyshop manager, his current role which entailed being responsible for the company’s Ford, Mazda, SEAT and Kia service and bodyshop departments located across the North East, from Gateshead to Middlesbrough.

Working for Jennings Motor Group for so long, has also resulted in seven loyalty presentations for Brian.  Staff receive rewards after 15 years’ service, then after every five years.

In the run-up to his retirement, Brian was invited to various dealerships across the group where staff bid him a fond farewell, but the official presentation took place at South Shields, where it all began 46 years ago.

Members of staff and managers from across the group’s aftersales departments paid a special visit to South Shields where Brian was presented with cards and gifts.  

Brian said; “I would like to thank everyone for their very kind words and for all of the lovely cards and gifts.

“I’m very emotional to be leaving the company and my work colleagues, who over the years, have also become very good friends, but it’s time for me to spend time with my family and do all the things I just haven’t had time to do because of work commitments.”

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