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Volkswagen Group And Inchcape Celebrate Red Nose Day Result

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MILTON KEYNES, UNITED KINGDOM – April 17, 2013: A collaborative effort between the UK arms of two global automotive businesses has secured a big payday for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day fundraising effort, of more than £40,000.

On 10 April, Volkswagen Group UK (VWG) Managing Director Simon Thomas and Inchcape UK Chief Executive Officer Connor McCormack met at VWG head office in Blakelands, Milton Keynes to reflect on the two companies’ fund-raising performance.

On 22 February, Simon Thomas, a former mechanic, had pledged his services as an automotive technician to the highest bidder in the Volkswagen Group network.

‘It’s been 28 years since I last got paid to fix cars, but I was a qualified technician and served a four-year apprenticeship,’ he said.

The story went out to Audi Centres, Volkswagen and ŠKODA Retailers, SEAT Dealers, Volkswagen Van Centres and Paint and Body Centres through each brand’s extranet – a potential market of 943 retailers, authorised repairers and body shops. VWG’s retail network delivered 430,000 vehicles in 2012, accounting for 18.7 per cent of the combined UK car and light commercial vehicle markets.

Within days, bids had exceeded the £10,000 target set by Thomas. Inchcape’s Volkswagen and Audi Franchise Directors, Tony Gorrighan and Martin Crouch, then collaborated on a last-minute, show-stopping £20,000 bid, backed by Inchcape CEO Connor McCormack. The donation was matched by Volkswagen Group, bringing the total to £40,000.

On 11 March Simon Thomas spent a day on the tools in Inchcape’s newest Volkswagen Group premises, Swindon Audi. Reflecting on his time there, Simon said: ‘The technology in the new cars today is light years ahead of what it was when I was in the workshop. The job is now much more involved with the customer and is more demanding too, because customer expectations are understandably far higher.’

On Red Nose Day itself, Volkswagen Group employees from head office in Blakelands, Milton Keynes, the National Learning Centre in Wymbush, Milton Keynes and the Customer Services Centre in Leeds combined to raise a further £1,910 through book sales, Scalextric races, cake bakes and a Man v Food challenge. The contribution to Comic Relief was £41,910.