Jim Saker: What would Brexit mean for the automotive industry?

The silence was stunning. At a recent meeting of the Automotive Fellowship International, Steve Nash, the CEO of the IMI, was chairing a debate on the future of the franchise system in Western Europe and asked: “What do you think the implications of Brexit would be for the retail automotive sector in the UK?” TheRead more

Only cooperation can solve the motor retail recruitment crisis

In 1997, I wrote an article entitled ‘Improving by Degrees’ in which I explored the problem of improving recruitment and training in the automotive retail sector.  At the time, there was a real problem in attracting good-quality young people to the industry. This was further reinforced by the poor quality of staff development. Training inRead more

The Death of Arthur Daley

With the unfortunate passing of actor George Cole, Professor Jim Saker takes the time to discuss Cole’s portrayal of crooked used car salesman Arthur Daley and how this has impacted upon the retail automotive industry. A character in the television show ‘Minder’, Daley demonstrated a popular view of car dealers as being devious and untrustworthy.Read more

Are car dealers less popular than cockroaches or Donald Trump?

In his latest article for AM Online, Professor Jim Saker discusses the importance of matching human and digital interfaces. Dealing with companies that have a highly impressive website but a less than savoury human interface, Saker noted: “there is increasing pressure to ensure that the human interface matches the expectations delivered by the digital world”.Read more

What does the driverless car mean for car dealers and drivers?

The concept of the driverless car is now firmly on the Government agenda and in the public domain. In July, the Department for Transport announced that driverless cars would be tested on UK roads by the end of this year. The UK announcement follows public trials in other parts of the world. The US isRead more

PCPs and customer service

Over the past few months we have been conducting some research into the relationship between sports fans and their respective teams.  Much has been written on the subject referring to the passion and feeling that exists between the supporter and the club.  It was however slightly sad to listen to the England supporters chanting ‘IRead more

SBE graduate gives motivational talk at North Yorkshire school

Recent PhD graduate Dr Paul Taylor-West was invited back to his alma mater in Scalby, North Yorkshire earlier this summer to give a talk to a Year 9 class on what motivated him to achieve all that he has in higher education. In his own words, Paul describes why it was such a pleasure toRead more

Why micro-management and monitoring of staff is bad for business

More than 100 years ago, F.W. Taylor introduced the concept of ‘scientific management’. He believed that in the same way there was a best machine for each job, so there was also a best working method by which people should undertake their roles. Taylor, an American mechanical engineer, suggested the “awkward, inefficient or ill-directed movementsRead more

Valuing what you measure VS measuring what you value

This post is from the latest column of Professor Saker’s in AM Online In the 1890s, the famous Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was studying salivation in dogs as a response to being fed and noticed that the animals started to salivate when he entered the room even when he had no food. One of hisRead more