Driving change at top Lancashire car group

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A LANCASHIRE car dealership is leading the way in the industry by switching staff to a four-day working week.

After a three-month trial, the after-sales department at the Chorley Group in Preston has changed its shift patterns.

It is understood this is the first dealer group to implement such radical changes and address the work-life balance.

The firm also says it improves the service for customers.

Managing director Pauline Turner said: “I believe we are the first dealer group to do this.

“Preston started a three-month trial at the beginning of June. Although staff were initially apprehensive, after one month they requested we made it permanent.”

The new shift patterns mean staff work an extra two hours a day – equating to an additional 46.5 days less a year – and benefit from a three-day break.

The shift changes will now be rolled out at Wigan with a view to rolling it out to the other dealerships in Burnley, Blackpool, and Chorley by the end of the year.

Pauline said: “This change offers a range of benefits to both the business, the staff and the customers. The longer opening hours mean it is more convenient for customers to book in their vehicles. For staff, they spend less time travelling to and from work and the reduced number of days mean they have more family time at home.”

Pauline said the changes also meant that technicians could be more productive, provide a quicker turnaround of vehicles for customers, and provide better holiday cover. There was also less congestion on site.

The change in shift patterns also enables the master technicians to be able to spend more time coaching Level 3 apprentices at the Preston dealership.

The award-winning family-run Chorley Group is one of the biggest volume Nissan dealers in Europe. Pauline was promoted to the role of Managing Director last year.

She now heads up day-to-day operations at the group, which employs 230 people across its five sites in Burnley, Preston, Chorley, Wigan and Blackpool.