Essex Auto Group celebrated its 25th year on Monday 4th August and with a philosophy that puts customers and their communities at the centre of all that we do, perhaps our longevity is hardly surprising!
Started by chairman and managing director Philip Maskell with a Management Buy-In (MBI) of a Ford dealership in Basildon, Philip raised his own equity and also managed to negotiate institutional funding. Despite tough times during the recession of the 1990s, he focused on pulling a strong team around him, which helped the business flourish enough to finally expand towards the end of the decade. In 2001 Philip bought out the equity interests of the venture capital company 3iplc and 100% of the share capital is now owned by his family.
Certainly our mantra of ‘Doing it even better for you’ not only helped in tough economic times, but has earned us respect and loyalty from automotive manufacturers, staff, and thousands of customers. A dedication to professional retailing excellence is considered integral to our company culture and as a result communities across South Essex have warmly welcomed us as we've grown over the past quarter of a century.
As Philip emphasised: “The biggest thank you for our 25 years of success must go to our customers, many of whom come back again and again to purchase their cars and use our services.”
Getting our service right across the board saw expansion from Essex Ford to 9 franchises, with Mazda, Fiat, Kia, SEAT and ŠKODA vehicles all being sold under the umbrella of Essex Auto Group, plus additional service centres for Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar. Such attention to detail has seen us rewarded with several trophies for our website, customer service, and participation in the Motability scheme, as well as the title of Best UK Dealer Group in 2011.
The company now operates from 7 locations – including Basildon, Billericay, Southend, Rayleigh and Thurrock Lakeside – employing around 300 people from the local area and encouraging promotion of staff from within as an Investor In People accredited business.
Rather than simply making a living off of the communities around us, Essex Auto Group’s dealerships and employees have always given a great deal back through supporting activities, sports and charities. Philip explained: “For example, when we were able to obtain planning consent on a site to relocate our Rayleigh operation, we were able to facilitate extra land and contribute to the cost of a new fire station to be relocated from Hadleigh – that wouldn’t have been achieved without us and we can take pride in that.”
Over the decades Essex Auto Group have enthusiastically supported a variety of ventures and adventures from Help For Heroes, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Alzheimer’s Society, the Lions Club of Billericay and The Essex Wildlife Trust to sports teams, such as Southend United, Essex County Cricket Club, and other local sides and schools.
Essex Auto Group look to the future too. While keeping our dealerships as useful and up to date for customers as possible, we also won a Green Apple Environmental Award in 2012 for using energy-saving technology and environmentally-sensitive materials when building new showrooms and service centres – a truly sustainable business.
By looking to do everything even better each time, it seems that we'll be looking after all your automotive interests for many years to come.
Happy birthday Essex Auto Group!