Can we have a drum roll please…

With the Car Dealer E-wards only a few days away, the WMS Group (www.wmsgroupuk.com) reveal that their very own Eric Stone will be on the judging panel at this year’s prestigious event.  Eric will be nominating and judging dealer’s websites in the following categories: Franchised Dealer Website of the Year, Group Franchised Dealer of the Year, Car Supermarket Website of the Year, Independent Dealer Website of the Year and Car Manufacturer of the Year.

Eric is the business development director of the WMS Group and has developed a great reputation in the motor industry. He has many years of experience in the motor trade and is well placed to understand the dynamics of each dealership. Eric personally speaks to all account managers and new dealers and is responsible for giving sales and compliance training and support, designing innovative and easy-to-sell products and being the brainchild behind the eye-catching advertisements as seen in the Car Dealer magazine!

He commented: “I am excited to be judging the competition. 12 months ago it  would been hypocritical for us to have judged due to our old clunky branding and website – before our rebranding, we had established a good dealer network but we were invisible to the rest of the industry due to having not previously marketed our brand. We simply did not have the brand awareness that we needed. Since the beginning of this year, we have built up the integrity and after choosing a few carefully selected partners such as Car Dealer Magazine, we have bought our brand to our prime market – the independent car dealers.”

The Car Dealer magazine event will take place on the 20th October 2010 and is sponsored by Autotorq.com for the third year running. Autotorq are an established provider of marketing communications solutions and business applications services, providing dealers and manufacturers with the products, tools and solutions to meet their website and e-marketing needs.

Steph Colinswood is the marketing manager of the WMS Group. She added: “There is still a large portion of UK dealerships out there that prefer to turn the pages of a magazine rather than use the web. However, we didn’t want to alienate our market when we started our marketing campaign which is why we have a good mix of print and digital advertising to appeal to every dealer’s preference. We were rebranded at the start of the year and are now known as the WMS Group – this umbrella includes Warranty Management Services (WMS), Vehicle Guarantee Services (VGS), Freeplan and our consumer website www.UsedVehicleWarranty.co.uk (UVW), which I have personally been involved with from the start. Alongside judging the aesthetics and usability of the nominated dealer websites, the E-Wards panel will also be covering the benefits of using digital marketing and social media such as Facebook or Twitter and will be filming a short interview. Eric has years of experience being in the public eye and is definitely the right man for the job!”

The nominations will be shortlisted by the Car Dealer team and will be voted for by the judging panel. The final two E-Wards will be awarded to the Web Innovation of the Year and Special Achievement of the Year and will be well publicised in the Car Dealer publication.

The WMS Group is a leading supplier of extended car warranty cover, LCV and HGV warranty, motorcycle warranty, breakdown recovery, GAP/RTI, Wheel & Tyre insurance and MOT cover. The company has established its name as the “Dealer’s favourite warranty company” after establishing an independent and franchised reseller network of 3,000.