Coulsdon Audi, car dealership in Coulsdon, Surrey
Aiming to be one of the most environmentally-friendly dealerships in Britain, Coulsdon Audi know almost as much about biomass boilers as they do cars. Head of business, Philip Smith tells us all about the company's Vorsprung durch Technik
ADVERTISING FEATURE: Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2010
Aiming to be one of the most environmentally-friendly dealerships in Britain, Coulsdon Audi know almost as much about biomass boilers and water harvesters as they do cars. Head of business, Philip Smith tells us all about the company’s Vorsprung durch Technik
Describe your business to us…We’re easily identified as an Audi centre with our distinctive hangar design. Coulsdon Audi offers a 12-model showroom, 16-bay workshop, 48 approved used display bays and ample parking for customers. The relocation from Croydon Audi has meant we can now deliver a customer experience that is at a truly prestige level. Whether it’s a car purchase or the Audi ownership experience, Coulsdon Audi offers convenience and service excellence with luxury surroundings.
What has been your secret to surviving the recession?Reacting quickly and effectively to manage costs. Having great staff, service and products that continue to create demand even during a recessionary period.
Recent research by Business Link, the Government-funded business advice service, showed that one in four of Surrey’s small and medium sized businesses are preparing for better times – would you agree?Cautiously optimistic is the phrase we have been adopting. 2010 offers an exciting combination of new model launches for Audi, increased focus on the human elements of staff and customer experience and growth in aftersales through service plans and our fantastic new facility.
What’s the most unusual thing about your business?Behind the scenes, Coulsdon Audi runs on state-of-the-art energy saving technology. Coulsdon Audi is the UK’s first motor dealership to achieve a BREEAM rating of excellent for the efficient way it was built and the environmentally friendly way it is run.
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Coulsdon Audi’s sustainability credentials have a strong connection to the Audi brand, particularly Audi’s current efficiency message based on start-stop, clean diesel and low CO2 models. Some of the technologies which make Coulsdon Audi the most environmentally-friendly dealership in Britain, include: a biomass boiler, which uses wood pellets to provide heating and hot water; a rain water harvester, which collects water from the roof; an air conditioning system powered by car engines running on natural gas that are more efficient than electric systems; intelligent lights dim as daylight increases in the main showroom and proximity sensors turn lights on only when people enter rooms; an internal refuse area is used for recycling and a compactor avoids the need for external storage bins; and the landscaped exterior includes a green wall of plants that absorb heat and CO2.
Tell us your hopes for your business during the year ahead? The motivation to push this business forward is in my blood, as I am the third generation of the SG Smith family running the business, which has been part of the Audi network for over a decade and in the motor trade since 1938. We have steered our way through a difficult economic period but with our move from Croydon to the new centre in Coulsdon we are proud to demonstrate our commitment to provide first class facilities for both staff and customers.
Coulsdon Audi, 5 Gateway Business Park, A23, Coulsdon Bypass, Coulsdon CR5 2ARTel: 0844 939 6766 Web: www.coulsdonaudi.co.uk