How does a century-old car dealer stay ahead in marketing and branding?

  • By Phyron
  • May 2, 2023
  •  – 3 min read

Based in Motherwell near Glasgow, Peter Vardy operates six franchise dealerships, a performance centre, and eight huge used car supermarkets throughout Scotland. We talked to Jill Gourlay, the group’s Digital Stock Executive.

Hi Jill. The company was founded in 1923, what do you do to stay ahead after all these years?

By using old and new best practices. We can keep up with trends but sometimes going back to the basics which started the business is key. We are always open to trying new ideas and innovations and aren’t afraid to go with them.

As a one stop shop. We offer a way for you to sell your current car, exchange for a new one and offer a large variety of stock. We have CarMoney for finance, FlexAuto, Leasing and so much more. The Peter Vardy brand is ever growing and doesn’t stand still. As part of our 2030 strategy, our renewed vision is to be a provider of mobility solutions for everyone.

We are different as our purpose is ‘We Sell to Give’ and 10% of the group’s annual profits go directly to the Peter Vardy Foundation which support children and young people across the UK and Worldwide. In 2020 we launched our new start up charity GenZ Leaders, an online leadership programme for all school children in Scotland.  

You offer premium cars like BMW and Landrover. And ORA, a fairly unknown Chinese brand. How do you handle that from a dealer branding point-of-view? 

What I personally love about the Peter Vardy brand is how we offer something for everyone. Each of our dealerships all have their own brand guidelines which keeps things consistent across all the approved used dealerships. ORA is very new and fresh so there will be lots to come as the brand starts to get noticed and picked up. But its great for Peter Vardy to be sole distributor in Scotland and UK’s first retailer for the ORA Funky Cat.

Do you use automated video to present all your cars?

We use it for every site, for all prestige and all of CARZ.  We are working on the premium side to use this for our prestige stock and working on picking new music tracks for prestige to make them stand out a bit more than CARZ stock.  

It’s still early days but … can you say something about your results and experience with Phyron so far? 

I think it’s a great addition to have to our adverts, we used to do videos where the salesperson would take them and there wasn’t a great deal of consistency. With Phyron there is complete consistency, and we love how on board they are with ever changing technologies. In our monthly catch ups it is great to hear about all the new and exciting features they are bringing out and allow us to be part of.

A few years back you were celebrated by a leading national newspaper as Blogger of the Year. How do you apply your blogging skills and experience in your current role?

I had a love for writing and that is when I started my blog back when I was 16, that’s 11 years ago, and my love for that is always applied to every job I do. My main job role is writing advert copy for our cars, across our BMW/MINI and Prestige & Performance brands so my blogging skills definitely come in handy in my day to day role.

Rolf Andersson
Phyron Writer and Editor