THE head of a North Yorkshire car dealership has been voted chief executive of the year by the UK motor industry.

Mark Robinson is managing director and founder at Knaresborough-based Vantage Motor Group which runs the Vantage Toyota dealerships at Clifton Moor and Knaresborough. He was awarded the title by an independent panel of judges at the Motor Trader awards which celebrates the best in the UK car industry.

The judges highlighted Mr Robinson's focus on customer service by putting people and their needs first. They also praised his commitment to growing the company, which now includes four dealerships across Yorkshire.

Loading article content

Mr Robinson said: “It is a great honour to be named CEO of the year by my peers in the automotive industry. Over the last 12 months there has been a real focus on doing things differently and growing the business - delivering a high level of service for customers and putting their needs at the core of everything we do."

The judges said: “It has been a remarkable year for Mark Robinson who, as CEO, has successfully steered Vantage through a series of acquisitions and dealership openings which impressed the Motor Trader Awards.”

“As CEO of Vantage Motor Group, Mark Robinson has shown how to successfully launch and expand a group while maintaining profitability and a strong local focus,” they added.

Mr Robinson founded the 400-strong Vantage Motor Group in 2003 with the purchase of two Toyota dealerships in North Yorkshire.

Over the past year turnover has grown from £65m to more than £200m and the group has increased the number of sites from seven in Yorkshire and Lancashire to 18 across the north and the West Midlands.