Tag Archives: Seat

Fiddled emissions whilst VW burns

VW 15921The VW share price is plummeting. Credibility of the many VW brands is affected. Perhaps their F1 ambitions have just gone up in smoke?

“We screwed up”, “we’ve been dishonest” and “we’re truly sorry” says their US CEO Michael Horn. But is that good enough?

Clearly the emissions scandal will run and run with lots of new whistleblowers adding to industry flames. VW Group testing software in the US appears to have been tinkered with resulting in certain diesel engines appearing to run cleaner than they really do – when tested by agencies appointed by manufacturers that is.

I’m relieved to read the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) saying this couldn’t happen in the UK because of the EU’s independent testing regime. Let’s hope they’re right.

VW BoardInterestingly the main VW Board is all male. And what has the likes of McKinsey been telling us for years? That women matter because we bring ethical values, a collaborative approach and environmental awareness to Board room decisions. In short, where gender balance exists organisations are healthier from the point of view of finance and efficiency. This isn’t rocket science guys but it’s clear you weren’t listening to the gender message when you should have been.

It looks to me that the VW Board could do with female Executive Board Directors to teach them business values and ethics. They were too busy studying the wrong metrics – now see how this negligence affects their beloved balance sheet…

But an equally worrying issue is surely, if the likes of main Board Directors at VW can be THIS unethical, no wonder the global motor industry suffers the image it does. Because it seems to be TRUE of the very top?

Will any of those male Directors held to account be replaced by women?

Let’s hope so but I’m not holding my breath…

Finally let’s hope this is a scandal purely involving the VW Group… but let’s not forget the potential reach – their prestigious brands include VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche.

How could this happen in such a family, unless high level individuals knew and condoned this… That’s shocking.



Double award winning female friendly Holders of Congresbury, SEAT dealership

holders_winners“Two is always better than one…” explained lucky Rex Jeffrey, Holders of Congresbury’s Managing Director, after hearing that the FOXY Lady Approved business had TWO not just ONE National Winners on the team.

Back in February SEAT UK announced a list of 25 finalists as they set out to identify the ‘Best of the Best’ in their National Dealer Network of 115 SEAT Dealerships across Great Britain.

Holders Service Manager Anthony Harris and Service Advisor Diane Gibbens made the grade as finalists and were then invited by SEAT to attend a day of tough tasks at the VW Group National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes.

Despite strong competition from around the country Anthony and Diane held their nerve and went on to demonstrate to the judges the integral principles of customer service that form the very DNA of Holders of Congresbury.

Anthony and Diane Get Gold

Both took Gold in their respective categories and at a Gala Dinner celebration they were presented with commemorative plaques detailing their achievements.

Diane and Anthony will now go on to represent the United Kingdom in the International Finals held in Barcelona, the home of SEAT Cars and the factory where most of them are made. They will be pitched against the very best in the world for Customer Service within the Volkswagen Group franchise, and as the best in the UK, they will be sure to give their all…

Anthony said “Having participated and won in this competition before, I thought I knew what to expect but this year’s standards were higher and the challenges tougher then ever!”

One of FOXY’s Female Business Ambassadors for Holders, Diane added, “I had been warned by my twin sister Jenny who had made the final back in 2013 what to expect! I am thrilled to have won this prestigious award and am confident this is down to my thorough preparation and because Customer Service at Holders is a very genuine daily focus for me.”

Mr Jeffrey commented “We are very proud of our winners, they are vital links within a strong chain of people who work exceedingly hard to maintain and improve Holders’ commitment to customer care. Recognition at this level from a company the size of the VW Group certainly puts Holders of Congresbury, and our worthy award winning team members, on the international map for all the right reasons!”

Good luck for Barcelona Anthony and Diane – we’d love to see you both pull off the global SEAT Awards in your respective categories.


Who’s your ideal driving companion?

seat_miiIn a poll conducted to celebrate the launch of the new special edition SEAT Mii by MANGO it seems that the women of the UK have very clear ideas about who they would like to have travelling alongside them.

Prince Harry is the clear favourite, with a quarter of those questioned wanting the handsome Royal next to them as they drive around the city.

Some things don’t change though, as David Beckham shows his undying appeal, coming a close second with 21%.

It seems no one wants to take the chance of having their driving judged, with Simon Cowell getting a mere 8%. The big shock is so-called ‘dream boy’ Harry Styles, who received a measly 5%, which goes to show that looks don’t always count.

Embattled PM David Cameron can find no comfort in the fact that he gained only 3% of the vote, though some might say ‘as expected’.

Jennifer Lawrence leads the way with 18% of those asked choosing the Hunger Games star as their ultimate female car companion. And Prince Harry’s sister-in-law Kate Middleton (17%) beat Beyoncé (10%) among those polled. Maybe UK women are hoping Kate will spill the beans on her Royal brother-in-law?

When questioned about the age-old driving battle of the sexes, I’m delighted to see that women are more confident than they have ever been about their motoring abilities, with 70% considering themselves to be far more skilled drivers than the men in their lives. Hear hear.

Having said that, just over half said that men have a better sense of direction than them. They were just being benevolent we suspect as who uses a sense of direction when we’ve a Sat Nav to hand?!

And in case it’s not just me that’s more interested in the car than this gender ‘fun’, the SEAT Mii by MANGO is a city car available in either nude or black, with contrasting interior including Alcantara upholstery (three or five door options available). You get atom grey door mirrors, stylish 15″ alloy wheels, chrome door strips and a spacious boot, priced from £10,995 on the road.

Please visit www.seat.co.uk for more information.


Female friendly garage is Unipart’s Car Care Centre of the Year

Hundreds of motorists have voted to find the UK’s best garage in the Unipart Car Care Centre of the Year competition. Out of a network of some 700 independent and typically owner-operated garages, the accolade finally went to Holders of Congresbury near Weston super Mare and Bristol.

Holders Garage represents the SEAT franchise which is part of the Volkswagen Group; not only are their workshop staff qualified to demanding manufacturer standards but they are also an ATA (Automotive Technician Accredited) employer which reinforces this business’ commitment to maintaining quality workmanship standards and requiring technicians to undergo frequent accreditation through skills testing.

They scooped top prize across the Unipart Car Care Centre network because they received the most votes in an industry-organised customer satisfaction survey which was carried out by Motor Codes who operate an OFT Code of Practice service and repair scheme for franchise dealerships and independent garages. This looked at a range of important criteria including estimate and quotation processes, replacement parts used and staff assistance.

Rex Jeffrey, managing director of Holders said: “We pride ourselves in providing a friendly, trustworthy, family-run business that our customers can rely on to provide them with value for money and excellent customer service.”

As you might expect, Holders is also a member of the FOXY Choice female friendly garage network where we approve and promote their services to local women drivers and members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club. Any customer who might prefer to talk to a female can ask to speak to either Diane or Jenny Gibbens, twins and Female Business Ambassadors who represent the best interests of women drivers. It’s that kind of attention to customer service we look for and appreciate, confirming that Holders recognises the importance of treating women like women not men.

This is because the industry is seen to have a male bias being mainly run by men (80:20 male:female employees). But a female friendly garage is a great find for men too, because garages that make it on to the FOXY Choice network have to be some of the best there are, satisfying occasionally demanding women and inevitably exceeding male expectations in so doing…

Congratulations to the Holders team in the photograph as well as to Unipart and Motor Codes for putting the spotlight on quality in an industry where garages still don’t have to be licensed or mechanics qualified to repair our cars.


Valid until 31 March 2012, any female leaving current feedback about female friendly garages at FOXY Choice will be offered a free subscription to FOXY Lady Drivers Club, worth £23, as our way of saying thank you for your time.

Congratulations Kinghams of Croydon

Kinghams of Croydon are a franchised Daihatsu, Ssang Yong and Piaggio dealership as well as an authorised Alfa Romeo & SEAT garage repairer – what with all this expertise they also service all makes.

They are now the first winner of the motor industry’s Golden Garage award 2010, as a 5-entry dealership subscriber to Motor Code’s service and repair scheme.

What we like about them is that this is a family run business with father, son and daughter involved, and whilst there will be some (envious) independent garages that can undercut their prices, they clearly do care about customer service, have some impressive customer feedback to report and, we assume, will easily meet FOXY Choice’s female friendly standards with Keith’s daughter a potential Female Business Ambassador of course…

It goes to show that it isn’t just the lowest price that matters when you publish a clear servicing price menu so everyone can see exactly what it costs and what you get.

Well done Kinghams.


Find out about other female friendly FOXY Choice garages in the UK…