Prestige in award for Bedggoods
Learmonth Road Kia dealership named as top three per cent in the world
A COUPLE of decades ago Brett Bedggood and his father Barry were running a small second-hand car yard on the corner of Howitt Street.
Fast-forward to January this year and the family-owned Bedggoods Kia has been named in the top three percent in the world, an honour known as Prestige Platinum status.
The accomplishment is even more remarkable as it’s the first time it has been earned by a regional dealership in Australia.
Mr Bedggood said the achievement reflected the maturity and growth of not just the Kia brand, but also his business.
“Twenty years ago it was just dad and I,” he said. “We were used car operators, and Kia was our first big break.
“We’ve been a Kia dealer since March 2009 and that was the start of the current product wave. To see how it’s grown over the 10 years is well beyond our wildest dreams.”
“We have a great partnership with Kia and that is doubly enhanced with great products, it really is a great delight to represent the brand.”
Making Prestige Platinum status is no small task, there’s over 45 different criteria that go into individually ranking members of Kia’s global network of dealerships.
The criteria ranges from service, sales, after sales support, dealership and staff presentation, customer satisfaction, training and much more.
“It’s the whole rainbow of operations,” Mr Bedggood said.
“It’s easy to say you’re the largest, or the best dealer by volume, but really is about everything that we do. There’s a lot of qualitative elements, it’s not just quantitative.
“So it’s not just sales but how we go about them, the timing of those things, or how we service customers. You need to do all the little things well too.”
That’s why being recognised as Prestige Platinum by the company is a huge achievement and Bedggoods Kia are the only dealership of the 130 in Australia to receive the award for 2020.
The Kia website says the brand is available in 172 countries through over 3000 dealers and distributors, placing Bedggoods Kia in the top 90 sellers globally.
Yet Mr Bedggood is quick to note that while the award is a great result, not just for him, but the 42 staff at the Learmonth Road operation.
“It’s really exciting for the dealership, not just me but everybody in it,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that worked really, really hard. They’re a talented bunch.
“The award was a complete shock and quite unexpected, with some very, very well reputed dealers in the running.
“To be the first regional dealer that wasn’t a large metropolitan powerhouse is just a fantastic story.”
What’s even more remarkable about Bedggoods Kia’s achievement is that their Prestige Platinum award came on top of a challenging and COVID-affected 2020.
Like nearly everyone else the business had to find new ways of doing things over the last 10 months, but it was a challenge Mr Bedggood said the team was up for.
“COVID was a very large test and a lot of people have done some great work to respond to that,” he said
“We’re all hopeful that we’re making the right steps in the right direction and we won’t be impacted by it in the future, but that’s life, there’s always going to be a curveball that we’ve got to work with.”
As a locally owned family business, Mr Bedggood and his team are linked to the Ballarat community and often see people they have sold cars to when out and about in the city.
“That’s the fun bit,” he said. “Ballarat is a great community, we do see each other at soccer, or the supermarket, or the footy.”
That idea that it takes more than just raw sales numbers to be great at selling cars is not lost on Mr Bedggood.
As he said, so much of achieving Prestige Platinum status comes from quality, not just quantity, and that’s reflected in the dealership’s approach.
“We delivered a car a minute ago with a bow on it, it was a young woman’s first car, the family’s excited, she’s been hopping all day,” he said.
“We get a buzz out of that. It’s genuinely exciting for our people to go on that journey with those customers.”