CELEBRATING MORE THAN 80 YEARS OF SERVICE!
Meet John Devlin (left) and Dave Hughes (right), who have been working for Toyota for over 80 years in total!
I caught up with John and Dave, at Lindop Toyota Wrexham and asked them to tell me about their careers with the business.
How did you come to work for Lindop Toyota and how has your career developed?
John: My first job was with a company called Exide batteries, who supplied batteries to the motor trade and were a Lucas agent, for electrical components. I first worked for a Toyota dealership in 1977, where I used to look after a small Parts department and moved to Lindop Toyota in 1986. We were SEAT dealers back in those days; but shortly after that, the site was redeveloped and Toyota moved onto here. Over the years, I have looked after both the Parts and Service departments for Lindop Toyota. When Steve Hopewell took over the business, in 2003, I became the Group Parts Manager, which has been my role to this day.
Dave: My background, was that I worked as a mechanic and I have always worked within the motor trade. I joined Lindop Toyota as a trainee salesman, in November 1974. I was promoted to the position of Sales Manager in 1980, and in 1984, I was appointed Sales Director. Back in 1990, we had the Lexus franchise and were one of the first dealers in the UK to have Lexus. In 1993/94, we were proud to be appointed Supra dealers, one of only 25 Supra dealerships in the country. I was a specialist in both Lexus and Supra. I worked at Bridgegate, in Queensferry, until 2003, when Steve Hopewell took over. Steve asked me to look after the Wrexham site until 2013, when I asked if I could become the Group Used Car Buyer, which is what I do today.
How does it feel, to be two of Toyota’s longest serving employees?
John: It has been a privilege to work for the business and for Steve Hopewell; as his vision for the motor trade has been exceptional. He is an inspiration and that is why we have stayed with the business. We have always embraced technology in this company. When we built a website, we were among the first to do it. Steve Hopewell is very forward thinking and when we first had videos on our website, nobody else within the motor trade was doing that.
Dave: I am proud of the strength of the Toyota brand and the quality of our customer care. There are some customers who I have been dealing with for many years, who have become good friends of the family!
Which models do you remember most fondly?
Dave: For me, it has to be the Supra, from 1994. It was very fast, a twin turbo. I remember going on track days, with John Watson, the ex F1 driver and also Justin Bell, the son of Derek Bell, the Le Mans champion. The Corolla was our best selling model, so that was the most successful.
John: I really liked the Toyota Cressida. It had a two litre engine, with walnut dash and steering wheel. It was a luxurious vehicle, of its time!
How have you coped with changes in technology, during your time with the business?
John: We have always had extensive training from Toyota, on both new vehicle technology and systems training. Cars were basic when we first started and now they have evolved into today’s modern day hybrid engines.
Dave: I remember driving the first ever Prius. The technology has always been reliable, even when we were the first to the market. This is because Toyota makes sure that every model is well checked over, before they roll it out.
What is your favourite part of the job?
John: For me, it’s the breadth of the product, there is something for everybody. I also enjoy finding out how something works. I find it interesting that technology has moved on so much, it’s almost like being a programmer nowadays!
Dave: Over the years, the thing I have enjoyed most, has been being successful. I remember being part of the President’s Club, which was comprised of the top dealerships in the UK. This meant that we went on various trips around the world. I am proud that the business has won many awards from Toyota, over the years. I can’t believe how the time has flown!
Everyone at Lindop Toyota, would like to thank John Devlin and Dave Hughes, for their hard work, professionalism and loyalty, over the years. Long may it continue!