Exclusive: Suttons Motors Makes Mosman History With First Female General Manager - And She's Just 27!
THIS YEAR, THE SUTTONS MOTOR GROUP CELEBRATES A MILESTONE 75 YEARS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE BUSINESS. AND NOW, WITH 24 SYDNEY SHOWROOMS BOASTING 28 DIFFERENT CAR BRANDS, THE FAMILY RUN COMPANY IS HELPING DRIVE CHANGE IN THE MALE DOMINATED INDUSTRY, APPOINTING ITS FIRST EVER FEMALE GENERAL MANAGER. ANNA USHER REPORTS.
Photography by GRAHAM MONRO from gmphotographics
There’s a quiet revolution taking place in one of Mosman’s biggest businesses, with a dynamic young woman changing the culture of a traditionally male dominated field.
At the age of just 27, Belinda Gibbons is making waves in the auto industry, as the first female General Manager of Suttons Motor Group.
Only a few months into the top job at Mosman Toyota, she’s already smashing previous sales records.
“It’s a huge opportunity and a massive privilege to be appointed as the first woman GM in the 75-year history of Suttons,” Belinda tells Mosman Collective.
“I’ve always been extremely focussed on taking the reins of a dealership, but I didn’t expect it would happen before the age of thirty.
"We have a big team here, with about 45 people working in the various departments at Mosman Toyota, so it's a huge responsibility.
“But to be rewarded by Suttons with Mosman as my new home base, is the icing on the cake,” Belinda said.
With women reportedly influencing 85 per cent of all car sales, Belinda said “the time is right" to have a female at the helm of Mosman Toyota.
“Women are the decision makers in the family, so it makes sense to have a female at the centre of a car purchasing experience,” she said.
“We are making Mosman Toyota a much more family friendly dealership – with a big focus on women.
“Locals have told us they want more bang for their buck when it comes to customer relations, and that’s exactly what we’re about to deliver,” Belinda said.
With plans for regular “ladies nights” and “family fun” days, Belinda tells Mosman Collective that community events are high on her agenda, along with an open-door policy at the dealership.
She said teenage workshops, where young drivers will learn basic skills like changing a tyre and checking the oil, are also in the works.
“At its core, Suttons is a family run business – and generations of loyal customers in Mosman are a big part of that,” Belinda said.
“We’re even offering a one-hour car service for those who are time poor – and if you live within 10 kilometres we’ll pick your car up – and drop it off for you.
“How’s that for good service?!”
Belinda tells Mosman Collective her love of all things automotive began at an early age – and that she “lives and breathes” anything to do with the car industry.
In fact, sitting front and centre in the Mosman Toyota showroom is her cherished 1975 Toyota Corolla, which serves as a reminder of just how far the effervescent brunette has come.
“I left school in Year 10 and I have worked harder than I ever thought possible to get where I am,” Belinda says proudly.
“My first professional goal was to have a business card and a company car – and also to own a property by the time I was 18.
“I achieved that and have risen through the ranks at Suttons over the past few years.” she said, “I think my success in part is to do with my interest in people - and in the machinations of business operations.”
Belinda says when it comes to choosing a vehicle, Mosman car buyers differ from those in other suburbs of Sydney.
“People in Mosman are much better informed when it comes to weighing up their options,” she said.
“By the time they come in to see us they’ve already done their research – and they trust our brand.
“Our clients are parents buying a reliable first car for their kids (either new or used) and older people looking for a bigger car to get around in.
“We are fully transparent here and the locals really value that – the most important thing for us is a trusted relationship, from a fresh and approachable sales team.”