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The BIG idea

PUBLISHED: 06:15 08 September 2014

Cookes of Fakenham brand manager Mark Murphy. Picture: Ian Burt

Cookes of Fakenham brand manager Mark Murphy. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

There has been a "Cookes of Fakenham" on the site since the early 1980s; it was originally owned by two brothers, the Cookes, who sold it to the well respected businssman George Middleditch, who in turn sold it to Gary and Nigel Vindis in 2007.

Tell us a little about the history of Cookes of Fakenham.

There has been a “Cookes of Fakenham” on the site since the early 1980s; it was originally owned by two brothers, the Cookes, who sold it to the well respected businssman George Middleditch, who in turn sold it to Gary and Nigel Vindis in 2007.

The Vindis Group was started by Frank Vindis, who was previously a Spitfire pilot during the war. He opened a garage in Sawston in Cambridgeshire, which his sons Gary and Nigel took over and grew the group into the business that it is across East Anglia today. The business is now run by Jamie Vindis, who is the managing director and grandson of Frank, and the chairman is Gary Vindis. As a group we are very proud that the Vindis family is very much involved, and Gary visits us at least once a month.

The Vindis Group has always had a strong business philosophy – can you tell us how the principles of honesty, integrity, respect and care are woven into what you do?

Our mantra is that we have the Vindis view, vision and values. The view is that we are driven by excellence. The vision is that we should be an outstanding business managed by leaders, valued by employees and cherished by customers. The values are about how we recruit, develop and retain our staff to deliver outstanding results that exceed expectation.

Why is customer satisfaction so important to you and how do you make the difference that people notice?

We have had the highest rate of retention of customers in the country, which means we are already doing something right, but we can always get better. That is why customer satisfaction is us so important to us – if you don’t look after your customers you won’t keep them. It is all about the people we have and training and developing them, so that we can make the customer experience easy and accessible every time.

August means we’re wishing for a “drop top” – how popular have the cabriolets been this year, and what’s in demand across the range?

We have seen a good deal of excitement around our cabriolets recently. In our range we have the Eos, the Golf cabriolet and the Beetle cabriolet – and that Beetle is particularly stunning.

Can you give us any hints into what is on the horizon for new launches or new generations of old favourites from VW?

I am going to get my first look in October at the the replacement of that old favourite, the Passat. We are likely to see that here in the latter part of the year. We are very excited about this, because the indication is that VW is going to be creating a very dynamic vehicle with this one.

So Mark, what is Cookes of Fakenham’s Big Idea for driving forward the motor industry in Norfolk?

Our Big Idea at the moment is to engage with the digital world in ways that will enable us to communicate with our customers however they would like us to. We want to use all the technology currently available to enhance the information we give to our customers, in line with the technological innovation that every VW product has built into it.

Cookes of Fakenham, Enterprise Way, Fakenham, NR21 8SL; 01328 779010; www.cookesfakenham.volkswagen.co.uk

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