13.11.19: ŠKODA Ireland has announced a new age diversity initiative today, with the help of media personality and advocate for the elderly, Francis Brennan. The initiative, called Simply Older, Still Clever (a play on the brand’s tagline Simply Clever), aims to recruit older individuals who may have previously worked in the motor industry.
Success in the motor industry is reliant on excellent customer service and building and maintaining customer relationships. ŠKODA believe the older generation possesses unrivalled skills in this area and are taking the first steps to re-introduce retirees into the work place to fulfill customer facing duties in showrooms and forecourts across their dealer network.
The motor industry workforce is under resourced in the months of January and February where 43% of annual new car sales are delivered to customers. It is in these peak periods ŠKODA believe they can utilise the retired skillset to fulfill vehicle test drives, vehicle demonstrations and vehicle customer hand overs; all the while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and service. The ŠKODA Dealer network has embraced the idea and has already begun the recruitment process.
Speaking at the launch, ŠKODA Ireland Head of Marketing and Product, Raymond Leddy said “Many vehicle brands are over-focused on the youth market, technology and digitalisation. Very few brands are stepping into the territory of considering older employees and even fewer will publicise or endorse associations with the older generation. At ŠKODA, we see ourselves as paving the way for others in not just the motor industry but in Irish businesses in general to follow suit”
ŠKODA is acutely aware of Irish demographics with over 65’s representing over 15% of the Irish population reaching 23% by 2040. This group is already valued by ŠKODA as this generation has been essential to the success of the brand in Ireland with 18% of their current customers over the age of 60. This growing cohort is also proven to be more loyal with 90% of this group likely to repurchase (versus 85% of 31-40 year olds).
Speaking at the launch, Francis Brennan, famous for his skills in hospitality said, “I just turned 66 and I have no plans to retire anytime soon. Many of us are fitter and more physically active in our 50s and 60s than our parents were. Life expectancy is at record levels and we can expect a much longer period of healthy, active retirement. The more I experience, the more I know that keeping mentally active has significant benefits for health and wellbeing. Opportunities like this will bring huge benefits to both the employees and the ŠKODA business in general.”
ŠKODA are expecting 75% of their dealers to take part in the recruitment providing flexible working arrangements designed around the correct candidate.