AM News Show: Group CEO Steven Eagell’s aim to recruit ‘better than me’

Steven Eagell Group Chief Executive Steven Eagell told AM how his role in the AM100 car retail business is to make sure he recruits ‘better than me’ so he has the skills necessary to succeed.

Six years after an AM dealership profile presentation in which Eagell revealed he had successfully grown the business after building a ‘dream team’ under him, he reaffirmed the role of recruitment and retention in the continued prosperity of Toyota and Lexus franchisees.

“My role is to recruit people who are better than me,” Eagell told AM News and features editor Tom Sharpe on the latest episode of the AM News Show podcast.

“The guys on the ground, they’re the ones running the businesses and that’s what’s really important to us. But not only are they good and skilled at what they do, but they are also part of the team.

The Steven Eagell Group has grown its car retail business from 11 to 32 Toyota and Lexus dealerships since it was last presented by AM in 2016.

In his interview on the AM News podcast, Eagell gave insight into a year that saw him win nine awards from his OEM Partners and the AM Awards’ Franchise Dealership of the Year honor with his Lexus Cambridge operation.

Eagell also discussed the challenges of transitioning to electric vehicles (EV), new car supply shortages and its growth strategy following the recent acquisition of Inchcape dealership Oxford Toyota.

“It makes sense for us to continue to grow as the opportunity arises,” Eagell revealed, but he said any growth outside of the Toyota and Lexus brands would be very carefully considered.

He said, “In the future, could we expand with other brands? We would never say no to anything, but first it would have to be with the blessing of Toyota Lexus and second it would have to be a meaningful relationship.

“We’re not really interested in two of this and three of that because then you tend to do half a job two or three times.

“Hats off to the people who do it well, but we’ve just tended to focus on what we do best and what we know.”

Other topics covered in this episode of the AM News Show podcast include:

  • The EV transition: a different mindset and way of dealing with customers
  • Sourcing Challenges: Meeting Customer Expectations
  • Dealing with soaring energy bills and the cost of living crisis
  • Drive loyalty to leverage vehicle and customer lifetime value

To see more episodes of the AM News podcast series, click here.