The future has never looked brighter for operators of Mercedes-Benz trucks in Kent and beyond, following the acquisition of one of the oldest members of the manufacturer’s franchised UK Dealer Network.
The ownership of Sparshatts Truck & Van – which, like other Mercedes-Benz Dealers in Britain, also operates the FUSO Canter light trucks franchise – was transferred on Tuesday (27th March) for an undisclosed sum.
The deal has the enthusiastic backing of Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Ltd, and represents another significant step forward in its strategy of Customer Dedication.
Major shareholders in the new business are entrepreneur Steve Rooney and his brother Paul, Sparshatts’ long-serving former Truck Sales Manager. Completing the new ownership team are Financial Director Peter Davies, who has worked closely with Steve and Paul for the last 10 years, and Chairman Sid Sadique, the Group Managing Director of NRG Fleet Services and Riverside Truck Rental, and a high-profile figure in the transport industry.
Steve Rooney has a sales and marketing background, and an impressive track record of achievement in businesses associated with heavy machinery. He previously set up and, over the 15 years that followed, built a highly successful packaging company for its Swiss owner, during which he led a series of mergers and acquisitions.
Paul Rooney joined Sparshatts as a Service Advisor in 1982, left in 1986 to drive trucks for a living, but returned three years later. Paul has won numerous individual accolades from Mercedes-Benz, as has his team – Sparshatts landed the Truck Sales Dealer of the Year title at the manufacturer’s last Dealer awards celebration.
Steve Rooney commented: “This acquisition marks the culmination of a long-held dream for Paul and I. We have exciting plans for major investments in our people and in our facilities, and are looking forward to working in a spirit of close partnership with the team at Mercedes-Benz Trucks HQ.”
He continued: “We are privileged to be representing the finest range of trucks currently available, while there is a huge amount of goodwill locally in the Sparshatts name. However, this is also a business with great potential for growth and I’m confident that through modernisation and the introduction of new, more efficient processes, we’ll be able to exploit this to the full.”
Paul Rooney added: “Having worked for Sparshatts for the best part of 35 years I have no hesitation in saying that we’re inheriting a great team of colleagues. What they need now is the strategic direction and motivation that will be instrumental in taking this company forward into a new era. That’s exactly what we’re going to give them.”
Sparshatts of Kent employs some 200 people and posted a £76-million turnover last year. Founded in 1975, it trades from headquarters in Sittingbourne, with other branches located in Ashford, Dartford and Tonbridge.
Although it is now fully focused on the sale of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO trucks, Sparshatts continues to provide 24-hour maintenance and repair back-up for vans as well as heavier commercial vehicles.
Mike Belk, Managing Director for Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Ltd, said: “I am delighted that we have a new team now taking the helm at this Truck-dedicated Dealer.
“Mercedes-Benz Trucks is committed to providing facilities and services that best meet the needs of customers. This means comprehensively equipped service points, conveniently located, accessible, and in line with the expectations of a quality brand.”