GUESS who! If you don’t know what the boss of Fiat looks like and you work at one of the Italian marque’s dealerships, take a good look at this picture – he could be mystery shopping you soon.
Andrew Humberstone, the UK managing director, has revealed he is currently visiting every single one of his outlets in the UK and sometimes even takes along a secret weapon – his wife!
He started in the north and Scotland and is gradually working his way south and plans to have the job done by the end of the year. So far he’s covered half of the brand’s 160 showrooms.
‘I usually know within just a short while what the dealer is all about,’ he exclusively told Car Dealer. ‘We have made big changes to the entire product range and I believe it is imperative that we get right the dealer representation too. It is so important in the current market.’
That means there could be a number of dealers for the chop – with as many as 20 per cent facing the axe.
‘I am studying the Fiat brand representation hard but fair,’ explained Humberstone. ‘Sometimes I am deeply disappointed, sometimes I can save the site by lots of communication and working behind the scenes together but, always, the onus is on ensuring excellence.
‘We owe it to the customer to get things right and, to this end, we have a five-year manufacturer warranty, 48-hour test drive facility and a 30-day return option if they’re not happy with the car. We are leading from the front and have service and satisfaction very much in our sights.’
Humberstone has worked at executive levels for Ferrari, Maserati as well as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. The likeable, and very outspoken, South African also has considerable knowledge of the Chinese market. His two children are learning Chinese and his French wife ensures English is not the only spoken tongue.
‘The Chinese influence will get bigger and bigger and we must be up for this rapidly emerging market force,’ he added. ‘It is all very exciting.’
by Richard Gibbon