Meet The Team
Kevin Griffin: Managing Director
Kevin has over 40 years in the automotive industry and brings a wealth of experience. Starting as a trainee salesman in 1978, Kevin worked his way through the ranks and latterly held senior positions within franchised dealerships for a host of brands including Vauxhall, Rover, Seat, Hyundai, Suzuki, and Chevrolet.
His career has seen him focus on driving fundamental and profitable growth within the dealership, helping them to flourish over the long term, and to have some fun along the way.
More recently, Kevin has held the positions of area manager and sales director for SsangYong Motors UK and is now at the helm as managing director.
Clive Messenger: Sales Director
Clive has worked within the motor industry all his career - nearly 30-years. Starting as an apprentice technician, he then held several roles at manufacturer level for Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, the early stages being very much in aftersales where he learned the value of customers to every business.
The past 20-years have been sales focused and include product planning manager, area manager, training manager, head of field operations and, more recently, general manager of fleet operations.
Clive joined the SsangYong Motors UK team as sales director in October 2021 and looks to draw on his vast experience to support organic growth in vehicle sales for the brand and its dealer partners over the coming years, with the customer experience playing a vital role in this success.
Vanessa Cox: Communications Director
Vanessa ("Ness") has over 23-years' experience within the automotive industry. She held senior roles with Mitsubishi Motors in the UK in corporate sales, public relations, and marketing.
Ness joined the SsangYong Motors UK team in 2018 and is now at the helm of a busy communications department, responsible for developing communication strategies that help advance SsangYong Motors UK’s efforts to catalyse broad impact through the sharing of effective ideas and practices. These strategies include public relations, partnerships, digital marketing, social media, and events.
Out of work, Ness is a wife and mother, enjoys skiing, reading, and socialising - with the occasional glass of Pinot!
Mark Burrows: Aftersales Director
Mark has over 30-years’ experience in the automotive industry. He has worked in aftersales, sales, and dealer development for a number of brands such as Mitsubishi, Kia, and Tesla.
He also spent considerable time in his career working in the motorcycle industry for both Triumph and Harley Davidson in both domestic and international markets.
Mark, as aftersales director, is responsible for the delivery of service, parts, and customer care for SsangYong Motors UK.
Ian Brown: Finance Director
Ian qualified as an accountant with Grant Thornton. He then moved into the motor industry in 1989 with Volkswagen Group at their UK HQ, covering VW, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and VW CV. Initially he was in finance roles, but progressed into business management and franchise roles, and then on to financial controller for SEAT car brand, working with the factory in Barcelona.
Ian then spent a number of years with VWG Group as financial controller for its group services, covering a number of central functions including all logistics and all the spare parts business for the group. This role expanded to include the development and launch of all financial aspects of the ‘Trade Parts Specialists’ business model, as this was rolled out across the UK.
Following his time at VWG, Ian spent three years as finance director with Traka, a manufacturer and distributor of secure key cabinets and lockers. Ian joined SsangYong Motors UK as finance director in 2017.
Paul Keyte: Planning & Analysis Manager
‘PK’ has approximately 30 years' motor trade experience in a truly wide range of dealer, leasing company, and manufacturer roles that include workshop controller, fleet management, insurance manager, maintenance control room manager for the Metropolitan Police, and demonstration programme manager.
His wide range of manufacturers experience includes Ford, Vauxhall, SAAB, & Mercedes. PK switched to SsangYong Motors UK in 2013 having previously helped deliver a number of SsangYong press cars and being very impressed with the great product!
In his spare time, PK enjoys photography, cycling & skiing.
Laura Cuthbert: HR Manager
Laura joined the SsangYong Motors UK team in 2015, quickly advancing her career within human resources. Having originally begun her career in HR with an international women’s clothing company, Laura welcomed the change and challenges the motor industry brought.
Having accomplished numerous HR qualifications, Laura takes on the wide array of projects her role brings and aspires to continually improve the brand and the company.
Balancing family life outside of work as a mother of two active boys, Laura’s multi-tasking skills are second to none!
Stephen Bucci: Customer & Technical Manager
Stephen has over 15 years' automotive experience, starting his career as an apprentice mechanic in 2006, then working his way up through the ranks to become a VWG master technician.
After leaving the workshop Stephen held various senior aftersales positions within a franchised dealership, progressing into regional and national management positions for vehicle importers.
Stephen's experience from brands such as Ford, Audi and SsangYong Motors UK have allowed him to develop a deep technical knowledge and build a focus on delivering exceptional customer service.
Stephen’s responsibilities as customer and technical manager at SsangYong Motors UK involve vehicle homologation and compliance as well as managing customer queries, and SsangYong's warranty and technical departments.
Thomas Holyoak: Regional Aftersales Manager
Thomas has a wealth of experience in aftersales having started his career in 2004 with Parkway Motor Group. During his 18 years with the group, Thomas held several key roles within the organisation, starting as a vehicle technician, working up to service manager and latterly aftersales manager at a dealership franchise in Leicestershire.
Thomas joined SsangYong Motors UK in April 2022 and is responsible for franchised dealers as a regional aftersales manager in the east and southeast of England. His role will implement processes to aid continuous improvement, the development of projects that help to raise the standards of customer care, and increase profitability for the SsangYong network.
Phill Sargent: Regional Aftersales Manager
Phill started his career as an apprentice with Peugeot before taking on the role of senior technician with Volvo. He then moved to Audi where he spent three years as a workshop controller before progressing to senior service advisor. This was quickly followed by an internal promotion to an aftersales group development and support role.
Looking to expand his knowledge in aftersales, Phill took on a new position with Ford as an aftersales manager. Opportunity shortly arose for Phill to move across to Porsche and continue his work as an aftersales manager. After eight successful years working with Porsche, Phill then joined the SsangYong team as a regional aftersales manager for the South UK in 2020.
During his spare time Phill enjoys keeping active, playing golf and these days prefers to watch a bit of rugby on the side-line.
Leo Szalay: Parts Manager
Leo joined SsangYong Motors UK in 2014 as a warehouse assistant. During his time, he has worked as a team leader, aftersales business analyst, and now is Parts Manager and is responsible for the daily operations of SsangYong's warehouse.
Joanne Taylor: Port Operations Supervisor
Jo has over 15-years’ experience in logistics and technical roles within the aviation industry having spent 8 years with British Airways before moving on to ground handling of airlines such as Ryanair, easyJet, KLM, and Aer Lingus.
Having joined SsangYong Motors UK in 2015, Jo has headed up the import centre at Bristol Port taking responsibility for preparation, certification and distribution of SsangYong vehicles to the dealer network.
Nic Watkins-Price: Dealer Support Manager
Nic has worked in the motor industry for the past 24 years and has an extensive knowledge of aftersales in the industry. Starting off as a service advisor he worked his way up to workshop controller and assistant service manager for brands like Peugeot, Ford and Kia.
Nic has always been customer focused and understands the issues faced by the aftersales departments. This has helped him in his dealer support role with SsangYong Motors UK since he joined in 2015.
Out of work Nic enjoys hiking and climbing mountains and loves a bit of fishing as well.
Mark James: Communications Executive
Mark joined the team in July 2022 after graduating from Bridgewater College in Virginia with a BSc in Communications, Technology and Culture. He also undertook a digital media internship during that time.
Mark has taken a lead on the creative side to the communications department, focussing on digital marketing and social media where he looks to produce exciting digital content for the SsangYong brand. He will also be looking after aspects of public and media relations.
Having travelled to the USA to play basketball at college level, you will find Mark still playing ball on the court, or in the crowd at Aston Gate supporting his local football team Bristol City.
Aidan O’Neill: Communications Executive
Aidan graduated from the University of Reading with a BA in Business and Management where he also completed a 13-months industrial placement as a marketing assistant.
He joined SsangYong in July 2022 and covers dealer marketing and website management, working closely with Vanessa and Mark in the communications team.
In his spare time, Aidan enjoys hiking and football, cheering on his not so local team, Newcastle United.
Charlotte Peckham: Accounts Executive
Charlotte joined the business in June 2022, bringing many years of finance experience in multiple industries such as pharmaceuticals.
Charlotte joins our accounts team alongside Ian and deals with purchase ledger and accounts queries at SsangYong.
When not in the office, Charlotte loves family time with her 2 children, watching movies and walking her chihuahua.
Martin Allies: Dealer Commercial Manager
Martin joined the motor trade in 1983 as an apprentice technician. Over the years he progressed to aftersales manager before moving to sales in 1993.
He has worked with several franchises including Mitsubishi and Vauxhall and developed his key skills in managing new and used car operations in a multi-site environment.
Martin joined SsangYong Motors UK in 2018 and is the area manager for the South-West and Wales.
He is a sensitive Cancerian and enjoys long walks on the beach and watching rom-coms by an open fire with a glass of wine.
Paul Brooker: Dealer Commercial Manager
Paul has over 25-years’ experience in the motor trade starting as a sales executive in 1997 and working through the ranks with Toyota, Jaguar, Rover, and Nissan before taking on a dealer commercial manager role at SsangYong Motors UK.
Paul is now an area manager looking after SsangYong's dealer partners in the South and South-East of the country.
Jon Winrow: Dealer Commercial Manager
Jon has over 36 years’ experience in the motor trade. Starting as a sales executive in 1986, working through the ranks and held management positions for a number of brands including Lada, Proton, Citroen, Fiat, Hyundai and Alfa Romeo as both retailer and manufacturer.
Jon joined SsangYong in April 2019 as area manager, looking after the North and Scotland.
In his spare time, Jon enjoys relaxing with his family and using his weekends to watch and coach football putting his FA Coaching Qualification to good use.
Charlie Jones: Dealer Commercial Manager
Charlie joined the business in September 2020 after various roles within the hospitality, event, fenestration, and tech industries.
He graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2018 with a BA in Business Management and Marketing. Previously holding roles as business manager and communications executive, Charlie has now moved into an area manager position to help look after our dealer partners.
As a true Yam Yam, Charlie is an avid fan of the mighty Wolverhampton Wanderers. In his spare time, he also enjoys playing football, going to the gym, and popping down his local for a craft beer.
Andrew Cookson: Dealer Development & Recruitment Manager
Andrew has over 30 years' experience in the motor industry working with multiple specialist and prestige brands in various roles, before joining SsangYong Motors UK.
He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of the industry, graduating as a full member to the Institute of the Motor Industry. He is looking after SsangYong's dealer development and recruitment and is based in the Northwest of England.
Andrew joined the SsangYong team in 2015 and has lots of interests outside of work which includes mountain biking, motorsport, and various hobbies with his children.
Keir Bartlett: Planning & Analysis Controller
Keir joined the SsangYong Motors UK family in November 2021 and has already enjoyed a 14-year career in the motor industry. He has in-depth experience of the growing zero-emission vehicle sector and is keen to contribute to SsangYong’s development in this area.
A father of twin girls, Keir enjoys walking, reading, and swimming. He also has a very strong affection for the NFL and avidly follows the Green Bay Packers, much to his family’s annoyance!
Pauline Lawless: Sales Operations Supervisor
Pauline started her working life in corporate sales for Vauxhall as well as Chevrolet, Saab, Hummer, Corvette under GM. She then moved into a reception role at a Vauxhall dealership.
Pauline started with SsangYong Motors UK as a vehicle admin assistant working through to operations supervisor and has over 8-years’ experience in the automotive industry thus far.
Molly Sheehy: Sales Operations Administrator
Molly joined the SsangYong Motors UK team in July 2019 working maternity cover in SsangYong Motors UK’s corporate sales department. Molly moved into sales operations in July 2020, working alongside Pauline Lawless.
Prior to life at SsangYong Motors UK, Molly worked with Vauxhall for 4-years in fleet aftersales and then warranty administration.
In her free time, Molly likes to socialise with friends.