Our latest ‘Meet the Team’ interview is with our new Sales Director – Steve Thomas. Steve has been driving up and down the country non-stop since joining us a month ago, but we managed to sit him down for a chat about his new role, the automotive industry and where to dine if you find yourself in Southern Italy…
Tell us about yourself
Career-wise, my background is predominantly ex-Forces and automotive. I’m extremely lucky for my experiences to date - serving in Northern Ireland, leading expeditions across Africa and Asia, teaching scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, to leading a fantastic sales team at Dealerweb - a life full of adventure and exciting challenge.
Outside of work, I’m married and enjoying life. I’m currently enjoying the Rugby World Cup on TV and looking forward to assisting Dealerweb delivering an outstanding new business year.
What do you hope to bring to Dealerweb?
In short - passion, drive, empathy and service:
Passion for everything you do.
Drive for your goals and have determination to keep going.
Empathy in terms of viewing things from the point of view of colleagues, customers and prospects.
Serve my colleagues and the company and help them achieve their goals and targets. Their success is extremely important.
Having arrived from within the sector I feel I bring sound knowledge of the market space and customer requirements for future-proofing their businesses.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about the automotive industry at the moment?
Within the world of retail automotive, the speed of change toward digitisation, paperless process and online retailing is staggering. Dealers and manufacturers are fast joining the 21st Century through their interactions with customers and this is increasing customer satisfaction, transaction turnarounds and data collation (which is a resource in itself).
Making it super-easy to purchase a vehicle is a key aspect to surviving the next decade in automotive retail and one which Dealerweb, through digital platforms and integrations, is perfectly placed to assist with.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in the industry at the moment?
Electrification or the move from ICE vehicles, whilst being extremely exciting, is one of the biggest challenges manufacturers, retailers and indeed, the World, faces at present. Whilst the prize will be a great one, huge infrastructure changes are required for charging. Vehicle supply pipeline will need to be ramped-up and of course thought into aspects such as how we dispose of millions of huge batteries in the future and how battery costs will affect the values of older vehicles.
It’s extremely exciting times with lots of challenges to overcome but in the end, once we get it right, the benefits will be huge.
And, finally, a few of your favourite things….?
Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s scary how true the message behind this book has become. The novel is extremely prophetic and if you haven’t read it recently, it's well worth revisiting.
Ahhh, there’re too many! I love films. A Few Good Men, Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Star Wars…Howard the Duck. 😉
Anywhere with my wife, Frances. Seriously though – Italy is fantastic, particularly Puglia… look up 'Grotta Palazzese' in Polignano a Mare and put it on your bucket list.
Porsche 911, from the poster on my childhood bedroom wall (the other poster!) to working for Porsche, it’s an aspiration for me and one I hope to achieve by the time I’m 50… still 20 years to save for it.