SOUTH coast based Hendy Group began 2019 in style by honouring sales and support staff at car and truck dealerships in Hampshire for their contribution to a record year at an annual awards ceremony hosted by comedian Rob Beckett.

The group has 57 franchise outlets and employs more than 1,100 people in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Devon.

Last year the group sold more than 39,568 vehicles and chief executive Paul Hendy said he was extremely proud of the contribution everyone makes to the success of the company.

Paul said: “2018 was another important year for the group with the launch of four new dealerships, a new Car Store and the acquisition of the Hampshire-based Seward Group at the end of the year,” he said.

The key Hall of Fame award was presented to Alan Pritchard who joined the company in 1998. Paul Hendy commended Alan for being instrumental in the success of the group, having worked across a number of dealerships. He is now the Kia New sales manager at the company’s new site, Villeneuve Way in Eastleigh.

Alan said he was shocked to receive the award and paid tribute to everyone he had worked with over the last 21 years at Hendy.

There were awards for newcomer of the year, which went to Naithan Pothecary from Portsmouth and Rob Tees was named Ford sales executive of the year for his work in Eastleigh.

Lee Gunner was named sales manager of the year for his work in Portsmouth with Jack Hutchings from Portsmouth Honda and Matt Robinson from Portsmouth Kia also picking up awards.

On the commercial side Brad Etheridge from the Eastleigh FordStore was named CV and Truck sales executive of the year and Sue Reade from Hendy Power and Marine was honoured for her contribution to sales.

Sophia Hughes was named corporate sales executive of the year and Mark Sanger from Hendy’s commercial centre in Chandler’s Ford was given the Extra Mile Award – a new honour to acknowledge a key member of staff.