Features & Interviews

Dealership developments: update on the CV dealer world

06 July 2023 #Features & Interviews

In the past few months, the commercial vehicle sector has seen the usual round of announcements relating to newly built dealer facilities, site improvements and dealership takeovers

For example, in April, Volvo Trucks completed a £2 million refurbishment of its wholly-owned dealership in Croydon, transforming the site’s existing layout to maximise operational efficiency and sustainability – and rebranding the site as Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London South.

The revamped facility features a flowing open-plan design to help Volvo’s technicians and office-based team streamline their workflows and better connect with customers, while £500,000 has been invested in new sustainable technologies and increased energy efficiency.

As a result, the depot is expected to fall from emitting 232 tonnes of CO2 on-site annually, to becoming a net-zero dealership, thanks to the inclusion of multiple energy-saving features such as solar panels, smart LED lighting and air source heat pumps, which replace older gas boilers.

It is also the first dealership in the network to be certified as a zero waste to landfill operation.

Other improvements at the site include the creation of extra on-site parking following a significant landscaping effort, plus a much brighter workshop thanks to new doors and skylights, along with new cladding for improved thermal efficiency, and on-site electric vehicle charging points.

First opened in 1980, the Croydon-based depot is situated 10 miles from central London and is home to about 70 staff, of which more than 30 are HGV technicians.

The dealership has six vehicle bays, offering 12 workspaces, along with a dedicated Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) lane, and is staffed by two daily shifts, Monday to Saturday.

Stuart Potter, Operations Director for the Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East dealer group, said: “The investment ensures we have an ultra-modern dealership in a prime location close to central London, from which we can offer customers an enhanced level of service, support future generations of product, and continue to attract the best talent wanting to join our team.”

Meanwhile, Mallusk, Northern Ireland-based Diamond Trucks UK opened its new approved Renault Trucks dealer site in Warrington, Cheshire, earlier this year.

This is the first GB base for Diamond Trucks, Renault Trucks’ dealer for Northern Ireland, and strengthens the manufacturer’s dealer network in the North West.

The 4.5 acre site on Howley Trade Park, Warrington, is close to Junction 9 of the M62 motorway, with excellent access to the M56 and M6, and onward routes across the UK and to Ireland.

Following the remodelling and refurbishment of the existing 45,000 sq ft buildings, the new site includes office and workshop facilities for its 27 employees, toilets and shower facilities.

It also offers new vehicle sales from 2.8 to 44 tonnes including Renault Trucks’ fully electric E-Tech range, as well as selling and supporting vehicles from the Used Trucks by Renault Trucks portfolio.

With secure parking for customers, the Warrington site’s fully-equipped nine-bay workshop includes inspection bays with the latest MOT standard equipment, featuring brake testers, shaker plates and headlamp alignment, and is fitted out with the latest diagnostic equipment.

Additionally, a dedicated LCV workshop is on site to look after vans and light commercial vehicles.


The team of 14 experienced technicians provide all-makes servicing repairs and maintenance, with an approved MOT test centre expected to open imminently.

Enhanced parts stock ensures excellent first-time pick, with a dedicated daily parts delivery service for Renault Trucks and all makes parts to operators in the area.

Iain Latimer, Director, Diamond Trucks UK, said: “A significant investment in our business, the opening of our Warrington site marks an exciting new chapter for Diamond Trucks.

“Alongside our new facilities, we have a great team in place to support local customers.

“We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding customer service and value, and we are delighted to be welcoming customers to Diamond Trucks UK to experience our service excellence here in the North West.”

In addition, MAN Truck & Bus’s franchised partner for Northern Ireland RK Trucks Centre, changed ownership in May to become part of Diamond Trucks.

The parts and service dealership, which has sites at Carryduff and Dungannon, originally joined the MAN Truck & Bus franchised dealer network in 1994 under the management and leadership of the late Donal Rice, who died late last year.

Harry Nash, Setanta Group Managing Director of Setanta Group, which owns Diamond Trucks, said: “The MAN brand of vehicles, vans, trucks and coaches, are well received in Ireland and we very much look forward to working with the teams at RK Trucks, meeting with customers and investing in and growing the business.

“To further enhance our presence and offering across Northern Ireland we plan to invest in an additional new facility to the North of Belfast.”

In May, DAF dealer Greenhous Group announced that it had acquired the property and assets of Shrewsbury-based bodybuilder Bulkrite.

Operating for more than 40-years, Bulkrite is a specialist in the design and manufacture of a range of commercial vehicle bodies large and small, from 45′ livestock containers on tri-axle trailers down to dropside bodies on 1.5 tonne vehicles.

According to Greenhous Group, the acquisition represents a diversification and expansion of the business, which currently has 22 DAF locations throughout the UK.

Kevin Swinnerton, Greenhous Group truck division managing director, said: “The acquisition will enable us to expand our product offer and have greater control of our supply chain when it comes to offering our customers bodied DAF vehicles – all part of our continued commitment to providing the very highest levels of product and service to our customers.”

Also, Motus Commercials has opened a workshop at its Volkswagen Van Centre in Derby, due to increased demand.

A similar scheme is planned for the Nottingham Volkswagen Van Centre later this year, as Motus Commercials continues to build on its relationship with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Gareth Kaye, LCV franchise director at Motus Commercials said: “The existing facility no longer enabled us to provide the service needed to customers, particularly following the success of the VW Crafter and new technology like BEV.

“This new facility will provide much shorter lead times for customers and make the work environment much better for technicians, which will in turn aid productivity.”

With commercial vehicle dealer groups continuing to invest in new facilities, customers should continue to receive high levels of customer service for a long time to come.

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