- Queensland's Bridgestone Select Hendra named National Franchise of the Year for 2020.
- Port Hedland's Bridgestone Service Centre Wedgefield takes out National Service Centre of the Year award.
- Western Australia's Bridgestone Service Centre Geraldton recognised as National Truck Store of the Year.
- Bridgestone Select Welshpool (Orrong Road) claims New Store of the Year.
ADELAIDE, South Australia (23 March, 2021) — Bridgestone has named its top performing stores throughout Australia for 2020, with Queensland's Bridgestone Select Hendra, owned by Caleb Sos, claiming the title of 'National Franchise of the Year' in the inaugural year of the DRIVE program.
The DRIVE program was launched in January 2020 as the recognition program of Bridgestone Select and Bridgestone Service Centres, seeing the network benchmarked against customer satisfaction and business performance – designed in line with the network's values of customer centricity, delivering a leading customer experience and exceptional value for tyre and auto services.
DRIVE is made up of four categories: Franchise of the Year for Bridgestone Select stores, Store of the Year for Bridgestone Service Centres, and Truck Store of the Year for the best performing store from Bridgestone's commercial vehicle network, with regional and an overall national winner for each. A dedicated national New Store of the Year title was awarded amongst the 30 Bridgestone Select locations in their first three years of trading.
Winner of National Franchise of the Year, Caleb Sos, says the recognition reflects the team's commitment to going above and beyond for customers.
"Going above and beyond with customer service is what sets us apart from our competitors, and the DRIVE award tells our customers that we're here and you can rely on us to serve you well, and reminds our team know that all the work has been worthwhile," Mr Sos said.
"We instil in our guys that our customers don't want to spend more on their cars than they need, so they need to wow them with expert advice, transparency and share knowledge so that customers can make informed decisions, and be confident they are getting their value for money."
According to Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director Stephen Roche, 2020 was the ideal test of the DRIVE program's criteria, and the Bridgestone Family Channel excelled in what was one of the most challenging environments on record.
"The DRIVE program was designed to identify and celebrate the exceptional stores in our network,
evaluated by the judges that matter most to our stores and Bridgestone – the customers who trust us with their vehicles," Mr Roche said.
"In a year where trust and customer service were more critical than ever before, the entire network has demonstrated a commitment to serving the needs of their customers and we're delighted to recognise our network's best and name our top performing stores – headlined by Bridgestone Select Hendra, Bridgestone Service Centre Port Hedland, Bridgestone Service Centre Geraldton, and Bridgestone Select Welshpool."
Western Australia was a standout state in the 2020 program, with Martin de Villiers' Bridgestone Select Welshpool (Orrong Road) not only named as the New Store of the Year, but also taking out the title of WA Region Franchise of the Year, Bridgestone Service Centre Port Hedland and owner James Hagan taking out the country's top spot for Bridgestone Service Centres, and the Shane Hay owned Bridgestone Service Centre Geraldton winning National Truck Store of the Year.
Joining Caleb Sos and Bridgestone Select Hendra on the Queensland region's honour roll was Paul Mitchell's Bridgestone Service Centre Murwillumbah, with the Truck Store category won by David Martin and Bridgestone Service Centre North Lakes.
In the New South Wales/ACT region, Ashley McDougall continued his consistent performance in Bridgestone's previous Masterclass awards into DRIVE, with his Bridgestone Select Coffs Harbour coming out on top, along with Christine McKay's Bridgestone Service Centre Cessnock, and Brian Hogan's Bridgestone Service Centre Parkes for the Truck Store award.
The Victorian/Tasmania region was won by Travis Jenkins and Bridgestone Select Mornington, along with 2019 Masterclass winner Justin Doherty's Bridgestone Service Centre Ballarat, and the Truck Store award won by Bridgestone Service Centre Horsham and Brendan Ellis.
Last year's Franchise of the Year, Tony Lawrie's Bridgestone Select West Lakes, claimed the South Australia/Northern Territory regional award alongside Graeme Moore and Andrew Ebel's Bridgestone Service Centre Winnellie in Darwin, and Truck Store winner John Bartholomaeus and Bridgestone Service Centre Clare.
Bridgestone Australia's Sales Director, Heath Barclay, says the mixture of new and previous winners highlights the strength of Bridgestone's network.
"The DRIVE program provides a great benchmark and comparison across our network of Bridgestone Select and Bridgestone Service Centre stores, and we're encouraged by how competitive all of the categories were throughout 2020," Mr Barclay said.
"The results of the first running of the DRIVE program highlights that across Australia, our stores are delivering on our promise of customer service, transparency and value for money and we're thrilled with how close the results were."
Stores around Australia have already started contesting the 2021 DRIVE program.
About Bridgestone Australia Ltd.
Bridgestone is a global leader in tyres and rubber, and is building on its expertise to provide solutions for safe and sustainable mobility. In Australia, Bridgestone Australia Ltd. offers a range of services and solutions to all segments of the Australian market to deliver social value and customer value. Bridgestone’s extensive range of quality tyres is complemented by the provision of mechanical and fleet services through the company’s nationwide retail network of Bridgestone Select and Bridgestone Service Centres, mobile service provider Lube Mobile, and the manufacturing and sale of quality retreads through Bandag Pty Limited. Bridgestone offers a diverse product portfolio of premium tyres and advanced solutions backed by innovative technologies, improving the way people around the world move, live, work and play.