WE’RE not making this up. Yorkshire’s West Riding Toyota dealerships are, in October, hosting the first-ever ‘Hug a Service Technician’ event.
Don’t worry. All technicians have been fully trained on hugging protocols. And customers receive a set of coveralls before choosing the technician they’d like to hug.
Hugs are strictly administered during workbreaks only, too. Should there be an emergency, reception staff and (we’re sure they’re delighted to hear) salespeople will act as stand-ins.
It should become (slightly) less bizarre when we tell you it’s in the name of charity. For every hug requested, West Riding will donate £5 to Children In Need.
It’s also being used to drive the company’s service and aftersales departments, in an innovative and, we must admit, most creative way.
West Riding Toyota group aftersales manager Geoff Kay said: It’s a fun event, but we’ve got a serious message. If the summer is anything to go by, the weather threatens to be bitter as winter closes in. It’s more important than ever those drivers are ready with oil checks, tyre checks and general maintenance.
‘It’s just not worth taking a risk. Our technicians here at West Riding Toyota are an approachable, friendly bunch and always happy to help. And they’re happy to hug to prove it.’
Of course, there’s something else, too. What price can you put on a positive charity message live on TV? We’re sure West Riding will be hoping to hand over a big cheque to Terry, live on BBC…