Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

50 Years of Values

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

50 Years of Values

Article excerpt

NEW- fashioned values. That's what the company is built on. They're responsible for continuing to spark growth despite a volatile market and keep customers coming back year after year and generation after generation.

That's according to Steve Hodgson, who owns and manages one of the region's most successful and growing family businesses, car dealership Hodgson, which is actively bucking the economic downturn and celebrating the addition of Mitsubishi to its current franchises.

The 'new fashioned' values Steve is so passionate about are nowadays more synonymous with a bygone age of retailing, customer service, appreciation, experience, honesty and trust, but Steve believes these are the 'new' values that every business needs to put at its core in order to succeed.

And after just a few minutes in the company of this larger-than-life character it's hard not to jump on his bandwagon - or should that be Mitsubishi.

The values and catchy strapline: 'As individual as you are,' are not just empty marketing speak designed to entice customers, but are cemented through the business and have been at its heart since its humble beginnings.

Created by Steve's father Les Hodgson in 1959 in a filling station in Seghill, the company built a loyal customer base through offering great service, honest deals and getting to know every customer who came through its doors.

"In the early days we'd be ecstatic to be selling 100 cars in a year, and we appreciated every sale we made," said Steve. "My dad instilled that value in every apprentice and 50 years later the current team have the same appreciation for every sale that comes through the door. "

The volumes may be a lot higher today and the impressive premises in Silverlink and Gateshead a million miles from the village location his dad presided over, but much remains unchanged. Not least the uncompromising demands the business places upon its franchises. Any brand that becomes part of the Hodgson family has to 'fit', from product through to service. …

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