Prague, 21 January 2020 – It is almost eight years since Karolína Topolová became the first woman in Europe to be the chief executive officer of a large automotive company - Central Europe’s largest used car dealer AAA AUTO, known today as AURES Holdings. Under her leadership the AAA AUTO network expanded dramatically and the AURES Holdings group transformed itself into a comprehensive provider of mobility and seller of digital solutions for car trading. Yesterday, for the eighth time in a row, Karolína Topolová finished in the 2019 TOP rankings for Czech businesswomen – which are in their fifteenth year - and she came first in the category of Manager of the Year.
When Topolová joined the company twenty-two years ago with the aim of establishing a call centre, she could not have expected that, through her perseverance and hard work, she would eventually be managing almost 3,000 employees in 57 dealerships across four countries. And on top of that, with annual sales of 86,000 cars. Topolová is, moreover, the only woman heading a large car-trading company in Central Europe. For the eighth year in a row, her work was valued by the twelve-member specialist jury made up of leading figures from Czech business and public affairs for the TOP Czech Women 2019 awards, which assessed the finalists’ influence, performance, business story and contribution to society. The chief executive officer and chairwoman of the board of directors of AURES Holdings reached the top spot in the Manager of the Year category. The motto of this fifteenth year of the respected business and social event was “The ones who are changing the world.”
“The award from the specialist jury is an honour for me and I see it as recognition of my current work and personal motivation for the future. It confirms my belief that we are moving our company in the right direction. For a long time, we have been more than just a used-car dealer. Our aim is to provide comprehensive mobility solutions for our customers, so we offer a wide range of cars from nearly-new to investment grade, and we also rent cars and sell software to other countries such as South Africa and Kazakhstan. Thanks to this, last year we sold 86,000 cars, which is the most in our twenty-eight-year history,” said Topolová with a smile.
Finishing in the TOP Czech Women rankings is the latest of a number of awards that Topolová has won recently. For five years in a row Topolová has been classified as one of the most influential women in Czech business by Forbes magazine, she is regularly among the finalists of Manager of the Year, where she also obtained the title of Young Managerial Talent, and based on the success of the Mototechna brand she was Marketer of the Year in 2017 whilst also securing the Lady Pro title. Under her leadership, the AAA AUTO brand moved up in the CZECH TOP 100 rankings to 45th position, and in the Czech 100 Best rankings it has risen to 37th position. The brand also obtained Europe-wide prestige in the European Business Awards 2016/2017, where it finished second against competition from entrants from 33 participating companies in Europe.
Karolína Topolová started her career as a programme manager at the Prague Hilton Atrium hotel. In 1998, she established a call centre at AAA AUTO, which became one of the most modern and largest in its field in Central Europe. In 2006, she was promoted to Group HR and Call Centre Director, and a year later she became company vice president and was involved in the company’s flotation on the Czech and Budapest stock exchanges. Under her leadership the company changed hands in 2014 as a part of a transaction worth over CZK 6 billion. She has been chief executive officer and chairwoman of the board of directors for eight years, she is married and has a six-year-old daughter.
The AURES Holdings Group has been in business for 28 years. It operates a network of 58 dealerships in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Since its inception it has served over 2.3 million customers. Annually the group sells 86,000 vehicles, making it the largest seller of used cars in Central and Eastern Europe. It also sells nearly-new cars under the renewed Mototechna brand. The company is regularly ranked among the CZECH TOP 100 and Czech 100 best. In 2017 and 2018 it received the prestigious Superbrands award and placed 2nd in the European Business Awards 2016/2017. The AAA AUTO Group is owned by the British-Polish investment fund Abris Capital Partners. The AAA AUTO and Mototechna brands are official partners of the highest Czech professional football league – Fortuna liga.
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