Car Dealer Live

Car Dealer Live 34: Sherwoods Motor Group MD Simon MacConachie

Time 7:53 am, May 14, 2020

Sherwoods Motor Group MD Simon MacConachie said he would rather the business was costing his thousands of pounds a day than go back too soon in the current crisis. 

Speaking on Car Dealer Live today he said: ‘The only thing worse than what we’re doing now is having to do it all again in six weeks time.’

When it comes to fully reopening MacConachie is being extremely cautious and his top concern is ensuring his staff are comfortable at work so they can do their jobs properly.

‘I don’t want to be seen to be ruthless, I don’t want to come back to work before it’s right and I don’t want to come back to work before it’s safe,’ he said. 

‘I would far rather be closed even though it’s me costing me thousands of pounds a day to be shut. I would rather stay closed or operating at this low level than go back too soon because I want my staff to come back when they’re confident and happy to return because I want them to be comfortable.’

The Sherwoods boss has been in the top job for 18 years, but due to needing to self-isolate since before the lockdown even began he’s been out of the business for more than two months. 

He explained how that alone has been a struggle for him as he would usually be on the frontline with staff and even if the dealership is open in June, he ‘can’t go back into the business until July’. 

Because of that he’s been working closely with his team who have been videoing the showroom to help him make important decisions about PPE. 

‘The feedback I’ve had so far is very positive. I’ve probably insisted on more than some people and the government guidance is getting more relaxed now. Some of it is saying you have to wear a mask, some of it says stay at two metres distance but if you can’t, you can’t,’ he said. 

MacConachie explained how being married to a GP had influenced his approach to sanitising the dealership and he believed made him more stringent. 

He explained: ‘I’ve insisted everyone has a mask if they’re customer facing. If they’re a service advisor or technician they’ve got to be masked at work and it’ll be the same for salespeople when they come back. 

‘We’re getting face shields for technicians as well, because you can’t fit a gearbox on your own, that’s a two man job and you can’t do it two metres apart from each other.’

To watch the Car Dealer Live interview in full you can see it here at the top of this post, or on our YouTube channel.

Coming up this week on Car Dealer Live we also have: 

  • Tomorrow: The team from GForces to guide us on all things online sales.

If you have any questions you’d like to ask any of the above you can submit them live during the broadcasts or you can send them to us via this website, or our social media channels including Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can watch all of our Car Dealer Live interviews by clicking here.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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