TRIBUTES have been paid to the driving spirit behind the flourishing Snows Motor Group following his death.

Geoff Snow, founder and non-executive director of the group that bodes 35 franchises across southern England, including Snows SEAT Salisbury, died on August 23.

Mr Snow established the company 55 years ago, in 1962, as an office supplies company in Southampton before he made the move into the motor market 38 years ago.

“My father was a pioneer in the retail car industry here on the south coast, with an absolute belief that the customer is king, that if you get the customer service right every time then the sales will follow,” said son and group chairman, Stephen.

“We’ve seen generations of families buy from Snows because of what Dad did – he knew the importance of making the purchasing decision process as comfortable as possible for the buyer.

“That philosophy is at the heart of what we do at Snows – it is enshrined in our training academy, on the forecourts and in the service bays.”

In one of his first steps into the motor industry Mr Snow invested in St James’ Toyota Centre in Southampton, with various franchise deals following.

Snows now represents now represents various automotive brands such as BMW, Citroën, Kia, Lexus, Lotus, MINI, and Volvo, as well as seven used-car outlets.

Mark Trapani, group managing director, said: “Whilst we mourn the loss of Geoff, we also celebrate his life and the wonderful business he has built, creating hundreds of jobs along the way and making car ownership a joy for customers over the decades.”

Along with the figurehead as the business, Mr Snow has also been described as a man who gave people opportunities and an inspirational person.

“He was a great inspirer who allowed you to get on with anything you were prepared to commit to,” Mr Trapani added.

“Away from the business Geoff was always most sociable and welcoming and he loved being amongst like-minded people.

“He left an indelible mark on the business he created and the people he allowed to embark on the journey with him.”