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TODAY, Mitsubishi Matters chats to Martin Woodward, the new Sales Planning & Analysis Manager at Mitsubishi Motors’ UK head office in Cirencester.

Martin, who has worked for the company for almost 10 years, moved to his new role this week.

The Mitsubishi Matters team caught up with Martin recently.

Thanks for your time Martin. Tell us about your new role please.

It will be heading up our sales planning and analysis team. The team has responsibility for a number of crucial areas of the business, in particularly ordering what could amount to millions of pounds of new vehicles each month.

This is achieved through continually monitoring our own sales rates, market fluctuations including competitor activity and taking into account future product strategy.

Why is that so important?

Ensuring that our dealer network and corporate sales team have enough stock to cope with market demands is fundamental in maintaining the required levels of sales performance.

We try, where possible, to retain a stock depth of around three months. This means that there is a delicate balance between over stocking/storage issues and under stocking/missing potential sales. Also, this means we have to work very closely with our aftersales colleagues to ensure that the parts/accessories we are ordering are in line with sales and stock.

And the analysis side of things?

This involves studying the UK automotive sales market on a national basis as well as individual dealer basis. This information is then used in a variety of ways, including strategy planning for future products and our incentives. As well as this, there are a number of reports that we are involved with on a global scale, supplying information and answering queries from our colleagues in Japan.

It’s a fascinating job, and I’m really looking forward to it.

So, almost 10 years at Mitsubishi then…

Time has flown by and I have worked in some great teams in roles such as: Product Planning Manager; Corporate Sales Manager (Specialist Vehicles); Area Sales Manager and more recently Marketing Communications Manager.

Prior to joining the automotive industry I trained as a teacher, and was employed as an assistant head teacher in a secondary school. So the move across was a quite an eye-opener! Having progressed through the ranks I reached a stage where I was no longer enjoying the role, and always said to myself that if ever became a miserable ‘so and so’ sat in the staff room moaning about the children – it was time for me to go. So luckily I changed careers before I reached that stage.

Did you enjoy the change of scene?

It was exciting moving to a completely new industry, and I joined Mitsubishi as Product Planner for the new Colt just prior to its launch. It was a very significant time for us, we hadn’t had a B-segment car, either three-door or five-door, for a number of years so I was bringing a completely fresh model to a network which had been very much used to selling larger 4×4 vehicles.

Following on from my role as product planner, I moved into our corporate team looking after our growing specialist fleet business. This included all the blue and amber light vehicles– such as police, fire and ambulance services, Environment Agency, airports and so on. It was a very varied and diverse role, and thoroughly enjoyable.

After two years in the corporate team I became an area manager in the sales team. It was at the start of 2008 and some challenging times lay ahead, mainly due to the economy and significant changes in exchange rates. After that, I became Product Planning Manager and the role I am just about to leave is Marketing Communications Manager.

What do you do outside of work?

We have three boys, who like their mum and I, are sport mad. I used to play rugby league semi-professionally, including representing GB students on a number of occasions, but my body gave up on me a long while back so now I coach youth rugby union at the local club here in Cirencester. Like most parents, we find that our time is now taken up with ferrying the kids from one fixture/club to another – but to be honest we love it. Then whenever possible we try to get away as a family and our passion is alpine skiing.