Service Manager Steve Hall has clocked up a staggering 40 years’ service having spent his entire working life with the manufacturer’s Blackburn dealership – and he’s still only 55!
He began his Ciceley career in 1972, as a 15-year-old apprentice technician, before the company had even taken on its Mercedes-Benz franchise – in those days it was a Seddon Atkinson agent.
A year later Ciceley was appointed to represent the famous three-pointed star and it is now one of Britain’s longest-serving Mercedes-Benz dealers. The switch to a new vehicle marque was the first of many changes that Steve was to experience throughout his long career.
He now manages a team of 24 factory-trained Mercedes-Benz technicians and apprentices, supported by 11 back-room staff. Ciceley’s busy workshop opens for business at 7am every Monday and stays open, round-the-clock, until 2pm the following Saturday, so ensuring that vehicles are maintained and repaired at times most convenient to their owners. The workshop is also home to a VOSA Authorised Test Facility (ATF) lane, providing MoT tests for heavy trucks, a development in which Steve played a pivotal role.
Steve has spent most of his career at his employer’s former dealership, on Ciceley Lane, Blackburn, which is now the head office of the Ciceley Group holding company. For the past eight years though, he and his colleagues have been operating from a purpose-built flagship site just off junction 4 of the M65.
"The move was a real landmark in the company’s development," recalled Steve. "Not only is the workshop much bigger and better-equipped, but there’s also a lot more room here to park vehicles and a much more spacious and welcoming reception area."
The job itself has also changed out of all recognition. "When I started out our tools of the trade were spanners and torque wrenches," recalled Steve. "These days you’re more likely to see one of our technicians using a laptop to carry out a diagnostic test on a vehicle."
He also played a key part in Ciceley’s memorable double success of 2010, when it won both the Mercedes-Benz and Motor Transport Commercial Vehicle Dealer of the Year titles.
The company thanked Steve for his long and dedicated service by sending he and his wife on holiday to Germany. "Ciceley Commercials is a great place a great place to work and I’m lucky to be able to call on the support of a fantastic team of technicians, many of whom weren’t even born when I started here!" he laughed.
An avid football fan who has been following Blackburn Rovers for even longer than he’s worked at Ciceley, Steve lives within a couple of miles of the dealership and has five children and seven grandchildren.
Dealer Principal Mike Lewis added: "Steve’s contribution to the ongoing success of Ciceley Commercials has been massive. His store of knowledge and experience is vast and we’re very lucky to have held onto him for so long – and even luckier that he has no plans to retire just yet!
"His long and distinguished career is also testament to Ciceley’s philosophy of nurturing its staff and keeping hold of the brightest and best people in order to keep providing the very highest levels of service to all our customers."
Ciceley Commercials sells and supports the finest and most technologically advanced range of commercial vehicles on the market including multi-award winning Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter, Fuso Canter light trucks, and the mighty New Actros tractor unit, reigning International Truck of the Year.