Simon Elliott, one of the best-known figures in the UK automotive sector, has renewed his association with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler by taking up the position of Managing Director at one of the manufacturer’s leading franchised commercial vehicle Dealerships. Intercounty Truck & Van sells and supports vehicles bearing the three-pointed star, as well as FUSO Canter light trucks, from headquarters in Wellingborough, and other branches in Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Boston, Lincoln and Toddington.
Simon brings a formidable track record of achievement to his latest role. The appointment represents a coup for Intercounty Truck & Van, and its Northern Ireland-based owner, Ballyvesey Holdings.
Having resigned earlier this year from his last full time position as UK Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus, Simon had turned down a series of offers while waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
When it finally did so, the appeal of running a Dealership whose network includes modern, purpose-built facilities that would be the envy of all but a small handful of its competitors, proved compelling. So, too, did the opportunity to renew his ties with the owner of the industry’s finest truck and van brands.
Simon’s first ‘top job’ was with Chrysler Jeep, then a business unit of the former DaimlerChrysler conglomerate – he served as its Managing Director from 1999 until 2006, during which time he was based at the Milton-Keynes complex which is still the UK headquarters of Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans.
He spent the next couple of years as President & Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group CHINA – winning that country’s CEO of the Year award in 2008 – before returning to the UK as Managing Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
From 2011-2014 he was CEO of Volkswagen Group Ireland, with responsibility for its car as well as commercial vehicle brands, then moved on to the MAN position in which he gained his first experience of working in the truck sector.
“I was looking for a fresh challenge and the prospect of joining Intercounty Truck & Van, a Dealer that represents the industry’s benchmark truck and van products, has excited me from the outset,” enthused Simon.
“This is a business with huge capacity for growth. We have some great people, fantastic facilities, and are backed by a well-funded owner which, through its various different interests, knows the road transport industry inside out. On a personal note, meanwhile, this is ‘home ground’, as I live near Northampton and grew up in Lincolnshire.”
He continued: “The foundations for success are already in place. My job is to provide leadership, and to ensure that customer service remains at the very top of the agenda as we address those issues which have been holding us back. I have proved repeatedly that I have the energy and expertise to ensure that the businesses for which I am responsible perform to their full potential, and I’m determined that the same will be true of Intercounty Truck & Van.”
The appointment has been welcomed by Mike Belk and Steve Bridge, Managing Directors, respectively, of Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans, both of whom worked alongside Simon during his time with DaimlerChrysler.
“Simon has considerable experience in this industry and I am looking forward to working with him to further develop the Truck business of Intercounty,” said Mike Belk. “He joins the Network at a decisive time concerning the implementation of more dedicated Truck operations and we share a determination to ensure that operators of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO trucks receive the best possible sales service and after sales back-up.”
Steve Bridge added: “Simon has enjoyed considerable success within the retail car and van sectors. He brings this experience and knowledge to our business at the perfect time, given our ambitious growth targets and the arrival early next year of the stunning X-Class, the first pickup to wear a three-pointed star. The Mercedes-Benz Vans team look forward to working with Simon, and wish him every success in his new role.”