Features & Interviews

New sites and takeovers: recent dealership group developments

03 November 2022 #Features & Interviews

In the past few months there have been more changes in the truck and van dealer world, with a series of new dealer sites and takeovers announced.

For example, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso dealer Marshall Truck & Van has extended the workshop at its branch on the Walworth Industrial Estate in Andover, north west Hampshire, adding an additional two bays to the previous four.

One of the new bays is equipped with rollers and other equipment required to undertake tachograph installations, calibrations and repairs.

These tasks were previously assigned to an independent specialist that only worked during normal working hours, so the dealer’s decision to bring this service in-house means it can now carry out such tasks late into the night, increasing convenience and reducing downtime for customers.

The nine-month £1 million project also involved the creation of a new waiting area for drivers, while the sales offices have been facelifted with a new meeting room, canteen and washroom for technicians.

According to Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, the site, which joins Marshall Truck & Van’s other branches in Fareham, Croydon and Southampton, exceeds the standards required of its franchised partners.

David Collard, General Manager at the Andover site, said: “The development is great news for operators, not least because it means that if a truck comes in at night with a tachograph-related issue, we can jump straight on it rather than having to tell the customer they will have to book a separate visit during the day.

“We aim as far as possible to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ service, so the tacho bay adds another important string to our bow.”

David added that colleagues are delighted, too.

“From a motivational point of view, this is now a smarter, more appealing place to come to work,” he said. “We’re now endeavouring to bring in more technicians and the enhancements we’ve made can only help with recruitment.”

Meanwhile, Ford & Slater has been appointed by DAF Trucks to deliver sales, service and parts at locations in Leeds, Sheffield and Stockton-on-Tees.

The appointment means the group has replaced Evans Halshaw as the main DAF dealer at all three sites with 150 existing sales, service and parts employees being transferred over to Ford & Slater under TUPE regulations.

The new locations integrate with the dealer group’s existing northern location in Birtley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and as part of the move, experienced DAF employee Huw Teasdale has been appointed as Ford & Slater Regional Director.

John McMenamin, Director Dealer Development at DAF Trucks, said: “This is an important area of the country for transport links and, naturally, as a base for many transport operators.

“Ford & Slater’s move to the region is both strategic and of huge significance for operators’ continuation of a DAF presence.”

Thompson Commercials, an Isuzu Truck dealer since 2012, covering Humberside, North Yorkshire, Teesside, County Durham and Tyne & Wear, was recently appointed as full dealer for the manufacturer in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire area.

The dealer, established in the Sheffield area for more than fifteen years, is now providing full sales, service, and parts support for the Isuzu Truck brand, through its workshop and parts facilities at a site on the Hydra Business Park.

There is also a dedicated Isuzu Truck sales team covering the region, with demonstrator vehicles available at various weights and body specifications.

Thompsons has also signed an agreement for its Grimsby branch to become an official authorised repairer for Isuzu Truck.

Ellis Thorpe, Dealer Principal, Thompson Commercials said: “With an experienced team of professionals here in Sheffield and our long-term knowledge and understanding of the Isuzu Truck product across the group, we believe that there are great opportunities for us to significantly increase the Isuzu vehicle parc locally, as well as providing high levels of aftermarket support to existing Isuzu customers in South Yorkshire.”

In the world of lighter commercial vehicles, a new Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Van Centre has opened in Oldham, providing extensive servicing and repair facilities.

The new site, operated by Swansway Motor Group, will stock the full range of new Volkswagen commercial vehicles, alongside approved used vans and cars as part of a dual site partnership.

Oldham Van Centre is the fifth Van Centre to be run by the family-owned motor group, with its other sites in Lancashire, Liverpool, Wrexham and Birmingham.

The centre also features seven service ramps and an MOT bay – Class four and seven – to provide full servicing options.

It comprises 17 new employees who will focus on commercial vehicles, a showroom with space for four new vehicles as well as 40 approved used vehicles on site.

The new Swansway facility brings the total Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles network to 64 Van Centres and 31 authorised repairers.

Rob Holdcroft, Head of Network Sales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “The new Oldham site provides the full range of our offering from our latest products to approved used vehicles as well as our leading aftersales service, showcasing the very best of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to new and existing customers.”

Also, Maxus UK has partnered with Stoner Motor Company to open a full-service dealership in Rainham, Kent.

Trading as Medway Maxus, it offers sales, servicing and aftersales services to customers in the region and brings the number of dealerships in the UK for the manufacturer to 49.

The new dealership features the full range of Maxus vehicles, including the diesel-fuelled Deliver 9 and the electric e Deliver 9 and e Deliver 3 models.

Stoner Motor Company has been operating for a decade representing car brands such as Hyundai, MG and Suzuki, MG.

Mark Barrett, General Manager at Harris Maxus said: “Medway Maxus will offer our full suite of vehicles including our award-winning electric range.

“We look forward to bringing Maxus to the area and we know our brand is in good hands.”

With dealer groups continuing to invest in new facilities, truck and van customers should continue to receive high levels of customer service in the months and years ahead.

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