During Women’s History Month, we wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the used car industry so we are sharing our column this month with Gemma Skoyles, a used car buyer from Hammond Cars, based in Great Yarmouth, Ipswich and Norwich.
Gemma has been with Hammond Cars for over seven years, buying vehicles alongside her dad and brothers in the family business.
We asked Gemma about what led her to the used car market and how much progress she has personally seen in the car market when it comes to gender parity.
We also asked whether the pandemic has changed how she now sources stock and how she thinks the rest of the year will pan out.
This is what she had to say:
Q: What was your path to becoming a used car dealer?
I was working for an oilfield supply company but in 2015, I was made redundant. My dad had established Hammond Cars in 1974 so the door was open for me to join him and my brothers in the family business. I’ve not looked back since – I feel the motor trade is a part of me.
Q: What is your proudest career achievement?
While it’s difficult to pinpoint any one thing, I do believe that success in this industry is a measure of the connections you make. For this reason I’d have to reflect on the contacts I have established to date; especially during the recent periods of national lockdowns.
Surviving the last few years has been a major achievement – I’m sure many reading this will feel the same!
Q: How much progress have you seen in the car market when it comes to gender parity?
I feel that things have moved rapidly towards greater gender parity. In my role as a buyer for the business, I have numerous female contacts and don’t feel that attitudes are anywhere near as archaic as in the past . Maybe this is just a reflection of society at large, but I really believe things have changed for the better. I certainly don’t have time to think about it which helps too!
Q: What is your preferred way to source stock and has this changed since the pandemic?
Online is king! Post-pandemic, this industry has changed beyond recognition; I believe 100% this is for the better.
Q: When it comes to sourcing stock through Motorway, what has been your best buy and why?
The best buys are the ones that sell! In just under 12 months of Motorway procurement I have quite a few reasons to be happy!
Q: How do you think the rest of the year will pan out?
I’m too scared to say! Nobody could have pre-guessed the pandemic and equally nobody could have predicted 2022 would be about to deliver a new set of challenges for our industry.
I’m a ‘cup half full’ sort of person so confident that whatever challenges we face we shall overcome!
If you want to stay ahead of the competition and buy exclusive, privately owned stock, sign up to Motorway here.