Autogem’s longest serving member of staff – and original mobile van sales expert – has been praised after finally turning off the ignition on an incredible 37-year career.

Josie Palmer joined Autogem’s Bristol depot in 1983, working in the Bristol and Avonmouth region before moving to Devon in 1985 to be a remote sales agent, for the Devon, Somerset and Channel Islands areas.

And as was the case until her final day, her van was kitted out with a vast range of workshop consumables to meet the needs of her many customers.

Many aftermarket dealers will fondly remember Josie in her spotless ‘Autogem Motopax’ van, citing a vast knowledge of every workshop consumable, an incredible work ethic and general reliability.

Despite so many advances in technology since those days, the same personal touch remained in place right up until her recent retirement.

She said: “It’s been an incredible journey with Autogem and I have enjoyed every minute.

I have gained so many work friends in the motor trade over the years and they have all been a pleasure to work with. The banter and stories will be greatly missed and I’d like to thank them all for their support over the years.

“I’d also like to thank Autogem for being such an amazing company to work for, for so long.”

Josie is now looking forward to an end to lockdown and some adventures in her motor home with her husband, both of whom will celebrate a big anniversary later this year.

She added: “It has been an incredible journey with Autogem and I have enjoyed every minute. A lot has changed over the years, but that need for a personal service has never gone away, which could be why I’ve enjoyed such a long career with the company.”

Josie put her longevity down to some good old fashioned manners and a willingness to go the extra mile to meet her customers’ needs – sometimes literally in her white van!

“I’ve just been true to my word,” she said. “If I say I will be at a customer on a certain date and time, then I’ll be there at that time. That makes their lives easier and they have always been loyal to me as a result.”

Autogem’s Managing Director Prashant Chopra praised ‘gem’ Josie, who embodied what the brand was all about.

“Josie is loved by everyone at Autogem and she is irreplaceable in so many ways. She’s is very much an ‘auto gem!’ It won’t be the same without her, but after 37 years with the business, she deserves to put her feet up and enjoy her retirement. She’s earned it!

“Josie’s tireless work ethic, warmth and loyalty to the cause was always an inspiration to us all and we can’t thank her enough for all she has done. We’re undoubtedly in a better place today for the impression Josie has had on us, and the company is a much healthier one for all of her many contributions. On behalf of everyone at Autogem, we hope Josie has a happy and fulfilling retirement.”