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Vertu Motors signs Auto Trader’s Chris Penny to help lead online digital sales drive

  • Former Auto Trader director Chris Penny joins Vertu Motors
  • Penny will help lead Vertu’s digital sales drive
  • Robert Forrester is delighted with appointment

Time 3 weeks ago

Listed automotive dealer group Vertu Motors has snapped up Auto Trader franchise brand director Chris Penny to help lead its digital sales.

Penny started work with the dealer group this week as it looks to improve its digital sales channels further.

In November, Vertu won the Used Car Award for Online Sales Experience and is already selling a large proportion of its cars online.

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Announcing the move on social media, chief executive Robert Forrester was delighted Penny was joining his team.

‘It is fantastic for the group that we have secured Chris Penny from Auto Trader to help us with our digitalisation in sales,’ he wrote on LinkedIn.

‘This is not a rehearsal. Thanks for joining Chris.’

Penny had been with Auto Trader for a decade and was well known among the car dealer community.


He often engaged with the advertising giant’s customers and was a regular face at workshops held by the firm.

His official title at Vertu is ‘group strategic projects director (sales) / chief of staff to the COO’.

Penny said: ‘When choosing a new role, I wanted to join a business with a culture, set of values, ambition and potential that I could believe in and help to improve. 

‘Auto Trader taught me that great businesses aren’t logos, brands and products, they are a collection of brilliant people doing what they are passionate about. 

‘Loving the automotive industry as I do and with no desire to drift too far from my car retail beginnings, to find what I was looking for, I only needed to make one call. The choice was obvious.

‘In January 2022, I’ll be joining Vertu Motors plc. A company I’ve worked with as an Auto Trader partner for a number of years and ticks all the boxes for me. 

‘A culture as strong as its balance sheet and so much more to achieve.’

Penny had previously worked for car supermarket group Motorpoint as a business manager and First Response Finance.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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