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Everyone’s a winner as Bevan and A&R join forces

Two of the most highly respected names in the commercial vehicle industry are teaming up in a move that spells great news for both.

Leading truck and van bodybuilder Bevan Group has acquired a shareholding in its Black Country neighbour A&R Vehicle Services, one of the country’s top accident repair and refurbishment specialists.

Founded in 1989 by Chairman Trevor Rushworth, Paul Adams and Ron Rushworth, A&R Vehicle Services, of Darlaston Road, Wednesbury, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014.

It is a long-established supplier to some of the UK’s best-known operators of trucks, trailers, buses and vans, and will continue to develop with Chairman Trevor Rushworth and Group Managing Director George Simpson remaining at the helm. The new agreement secures the long-term employment of its staff, many of whom have chalked up years of loyal service.

Halesowen-based Bevan Group, meanwhile, is plugging a gap in its own service offering by adding a repair and refurbishment arm capable of working to the highest standards and tightest deadlines.

The announcement marks the culmination of an entirely amicable process of negotiation that began some 18 months ago. However, the key figures running both companies have known each other for many years.

Trevor Rushworth confirms: "We have a family business ethos and a stable, loyal workforce, so we’re determined to ensure that the next 25 years are every bit as successful as the last. As a privately-owned company which shares our core values, Bevan Group will give us the best possible platform for future success."

George Simpson continues: "We’re operating in a challenging and highly competitive industry, which explains why most of the big ‘independents’ in our sector have already aligned themselves with a manufacturer. By giving us access to new markets, as well as its sales and marketing expertise, Bevan will help to take us to the next level."

And Bevan Group Managing Director Anthony Bevan adds: "This agreement is going to benefit both businesses hugely. For our part, it’s another string to our bow. There’s definitely a demand among established Bevan customers for the kind of repair and refurbishment services that A&R offers, while we’re confident that our aftercare and vehicle graphics divisions will also be busier as a result."

With 40,000 sq ft of workshop space, including a recycled shot blast bay, specialist chassis straightening facilities, paint preparation booths and three low bake ovens, all backed by a fully-stocked parts stores, A&R is equipped to undertake a comprehensive range of assignments.

As well as more mainstream vehicles, the company’s highly trained technicians work in accordance with all relevant legislation on high-value and specialist equipment including chemical tankers. Underlining its commitment to this market, 18 months ago, and at a cost of £60,000, A&R opened a Hydro Test Centre to support tanker operators that have to follow strict testing regimes.

Bevan Group builds premium quality dry freight box, curtainside and platform commercial vehicle bodies for some of the biggest names on Britain’s roads, and has won acclaim for its innovative, fuel-efficient designs, exacting build quality, and mobile aftercare service. Bevan recently added to its product portfolio by embarking on a new venture in co-operation with refrigerated trailer specialist Schmitz Cargobull, to build temperature-controlled insulated bodies for rigid vehicles.

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