Passion

Inside the Ferrari Dealer of the Year

Inside the Ferrari Dealer of the Year

Meridien Modena has just been awarded Ferrari's Top Dealer award 2018. We paid a visit
Words

Richard Aucock

Meridien Modena has been in business for 30 years in 2018. In that time, the dealer in Lyndhurst, near the south coast of England, has developed a loyal following of friends and customers, and been an exemplary ambassador for the Ferrari brand. “It’s not just a car we’re selling,” managing director Glenn Butt tells us, “but a dream. We need to deliver that dream and give people an experience they’ll remember. Ferraris are incredible, amazing cars, and our performance needs to match that.”

And Now - In the most recent Ferrari Dealer Annual Meeting, Meridien Modena was honoured with the biggest prize of all: the Ferrari Top Dealer of the Year Award for 2018. “We are a little piece of Italy in Lyndhurst,” says Glenn proudly as he shows us around the premises. “We speak to Ferrari daily and pride ourselves on delivering a seamless client experience. The journey starts in the Atelier, then we’ll go out in a demonstrator, and sometimes customers then join us at the factory. Ferrari backs us up every step of the way.”

The secret is making it a genuine team effort. “It’s nothing to do with me really – I’ve just done my job. I always say, the most important person here is our guy who cleans the cars and prepares the showroom. He tells us, ‘that bit needs looking at,’ ‘we need to change that’… it’s fed up from the bottom, and we listen.” Another important person in the business is Glenn’s dad, John.

Meridien Modena has been in business for 30 years in 2018
Meridien Modena has been in business for 30 years in 2018

Glenn and his brother Warren run Meridien Modena on a daily basis “and my dad doesn’t even have a desk. He comes in often, but from a client’s perspective. ‘I don’t think this is quite right,’ he’ll say. So we’ll fix it, and then await his next visit!” – strictly in line with Ferrari’s continuous pursuit of excellent results that is driven from a natural dissatisfaction with the present. It’s a genuine family business, says Glenn, even dealer principal Nigel is virtually family “because he started off with us cleaning cars while he was at university, and has worked up from there.

He’s now my boss! It’s all about us working together, respecting one another and always thinking how to put our clients first.” One of Glenn’s proudest moments came a few years ago, when a young enthusiast bought a brand new car. “After completing the deal, he said, ‘you don’t remember me, do you? I admitted I didn’t – so he showed me a picture taken years ago, when he was just 11 or 12. “I remembered it vividly. He and his dad visited us, and I could see the young lad was excited at seeing a Ferrari up close. I was busy that day, but our ethos is to always make visitors feel special.

A dedicated Meridien Modena service centre has a thriving Officina Classiche department
A dedicated Meridien Modena service centre has a thriving Officina Classiche department

So I showed them around a car, and took a picture of them together. That was the picture he showed me. It was quite emotional, actually – but that’s how it should be.” Meriden is open seven days a week “and the relationship to our clients is special,” says Glenn. “One customer last bought a new car from us in 2003, but we still see him every three months. ‘One day, I’ll buy another!’, he always says. Well, recently, he proved he true to his word: he’s just taken delivery of a new Ferrari Portofino.”

“We enjoy a party here too,” adds Glenn. “We’ve had special chefs here, DJs, spectacles… we like to keep customers meeting up. Enjoying the passion together. It’s the only way we can win business like this – from the heart.” Meridien Modena cares, and is thriving as a result. As we leave, Glenn greets another client with a hearty hello, as they sit down and catch up over a coffee. Another member warmly welcomed into the Meridien Modena family.

Ferrari