South coast Mercedes-Benz dealer Pentagon Commercials is doing its bit to support hard-pressed truck and van operators by expanding the range of top-quality pre-owned vehicles it offers for sale.
The manufacturer’s representative in Hampshire and Dorset relaunched its used truck and van sales operation a year ago – and has quickly established itself as one of the region’s most successful retailers of pre-owned commercial vehicles.
Key to this achievement was the appointment of Andrew Hird as Used Vehicle Sales Manager. A seasoned Mercedes-Benz truck specialist, Andrew had always concentrated previously on the new vehicle sector, but has not looked back since taking up his new role with Pentagon.
"It was certainly a challenge as we were effectively starting again from scratch where used vehicle sales were concerned," he said. "But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last year and am still doing so. There’s more variety in this job, as I buy all of our vehicles and manage the department, while most of the sales are handled by my colleagues."
Andrew is supported by Used Vehicle Sales Executive Keith Farley, who has just been promoted from Administrator, a position which has now been filled by Karen Halcrow. The dealer’s new vehicle sales executives are also responsible for sales of pre-owned units.
Pentagon is currently some 230 per cent ahead of the target it was set by Mercedes-Benz for used van sales in 2011, while it is also performing impressively well in the used trucks sales arena.
At any one time Pentagon holds approximately 100 used trucks and vans in stock but aims to increase that number as this side of the business continues to grow – most can be viewed at the company’s Andover dealership, where the used sales operation is based, although pre-owned vehicles are also moved regularly around the company’s other locations in Fareham, Poole, Portsmouth and Southampton.
The include examples from the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter van ranges, as well the entire Mercedes-Benz truck line-up, which starts with the 7.5-tonne Atego model and extends to the mighty Actros 44-tonne tractor unit, and also includes Fuso Canters – the German manufacturer’s UK dealers are also responsible for sales and support of these popular Japanese light trucks.
The majority of these vehicles are offered for sale under the Mercedes-Benz Used 1 and Approved Used Commercials programmes for vans and trucks respectively. Both schemes provide operators with access to the finest pre-owned commercial vehicles: all have covered limited mileages, undergone thorough inspections and been prepared to the highest standards; for added peace of mind, they also come with minimum six-month MoTs, mechanical breakdown insurance and warranties.
As well as trucks and vans bearing the famous three-pointed star, Pentagon Commercials retails other brands of used vehicle, most of which will have been taken in part-exchange against the purchase of a new Mercedes-Benz or Fuso Canter.
Continued Andrew: "A Mercedes-Benz Used 1 van or Approved Used truck is the next best thing to a brand new vehicle and represents outstanding value, at a time when many operators are strapped for cash due to the difficult economic climate.
"If we don’t have the vehicle a customer needs in stock we can invariably source it, either from the manufacturer or from another Mercedes-Benz dealer, while we can also arrange highly competitive finance, repair and maintenance, and other packages which can be tailored to suit an operator’s precise requirements."
Adam Slater, Mercedes-Benz UK’s General Manager – Approved Used Commercials, confirmed: "This has been a brilliant year for Pentagon’s used vehicle sales operation.
"The new focus by the company’s management team, coupled with the employment of Andrew Hird, has certainly had a significant impact on this aspect of the business.
"But it won’t stop there as Pentagon’s willingness to expand and invest in used vehicle sales is set to take it to new heights in 2012, when it will be able to offer existing and new customers an even wider choice of vehicles and greater flexibility."