Real Model Interview featuring Kerry Allred, Aftersales Manager at Mercedes Benz, Marshall Motor Group and Trailblazer of the Year 2022

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kerry Allred, Aftersales Manager at Marshall Motor Group and Trailblazer of the Year, in our latest Real Model interview.

Read more below.

How did you feel to be nominated by your colleagues in the Inspiring Automotive Women Awards 2022 and how did it feel to be recognised as our Trailblazer of the Year?

I was totally blown away that someone would think of me as an inspiring person.

Can you give a brief outline of your job and what it involves? How long have you worked in the sector, and what inspired you to join the motor trade?

When I won the award I was a Workshop Controller at Mercedes Benz Bolton and also an advocate of children with autism, having recently become a new author for my book ‘I Am Amy NOT Autism!!’ My role as Workshop Controller is a predominantly male-orientated environment, managing the workshop loading and keeping the technicians up to date with the latest training programmes issued by the manufacturer, ensuring all work is completed in a timely and satisfactory manner.

How long have you worked in the sector, and what inspired you to join the motor trade?

I have been in the industry for 15 years, I started as a Service Administrator at Ford, promoted to Service Advisor after 12 months. I then spent time as a Service Advisor for the next 8 years in different manufacturers including Vauxhall & Volkswagen with no real progression opportunities available to me. In 2019 I made the decision to take a chance on Mercedes Benz Bolton as the progression opportunities sounded amazing, hard to believe but amazing so I thought if they are willing to take a chance on me I am willing to take a chance on them and I can honestly say I am not disappointed and everything I had been told could be in my reach transpired to even more than I could have ever hoped for.

In the 3 years and 9 months, my progression ladder has seen me promoted into various roles Service Advisor, temporary Parts Supervisor, Service Operations Manager, Workshop Controller and most recently promoted to the Aftersales Manager at Mercedes Benz Blackburn. My Husband inspired me to join the industry as he owned his own garage I thought that I would be more fanciable if I actually knew what he was talking about when he got so excited over fixing cars lol.

What do you like best about your job?

Being able to implement processes that bring positive change for everyone, when a customer recognises the lengths you have gone to, to make something possible those few kind words always make the day a much brighter one.

What are your future aspirations?

My new aspiration is to show those who have trusted and guided me through my progression that I was worth every risk they took on me, and that I will continue to learn and build a team that will make a difference in everything we do together. I will build new working relationships building foundations and provide my team with the same opportunities to progress through development, mentoring, and training.

Can you name a woman in automotive who inspires you and why?

Alison Mackay and Katie Williams at Marshall Motor company – They are both women within this sector who empower other women like I have never seen before. With women like this on your side, the world is your oyster and there is nothing that is unachievable if you want it. I hope that one day they will be looking up to me in the way in which I look up to them.

What makes you happy?

There are many things that make me happy, the same as most I would think, but the one thing that makes me happy is my volunteer work with children with disabilities and working the ward at the local hospice in my spare time. Making a difference in others’ lives keeps my heart humble in a world that can often be so cruel.

What did you want to be growing up?

A paramedic or to do business studies, I wanted to be a paramedic because I’ve always wanted to help others, and business studies because I thought it sounded good to my parents.

What advice would you give to women who are wanting to progress in the sector?

To always accept the challenges that come your way, to always believe that no matter the circumstance that you are good enough, and if you are willing to learn there is always someone out there who will give you the tools you need to become even more amazing than you already are. It isn’t always easy but it is always rewarding when you make a difference.

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