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Mercedes-Benz dealer Ciceley hits the awards trail

Lancashire and Cumbria’s Ciceley Commercials enjoyed a great night at Mercedes-Benz UK’s annual awards event for its commercial vehicle franchisees, by carrying off two top prizes.

In the face of stiff competition from 20 other dealers nationwide, Ciceley’s Mike Lewis lifted the trophy for Dealer Principal Best Practice Practitioner of the Year.

And Marketing Manager Lorraine Allcroft capped a fantastic first year with the Blackburn-based franchisee by winning the Commercial Vehicle Marketeer of the Year title.

Guest of honour Sean Fitzpatrick, legendary former captain of the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Union team, presented the trophies at a ceremony held in Gaggenau, Germany, home of the famous Mercedes-Benz Unimog all-terrain truck.

A delighted Mike Lewis, who has been at the Ciceley Commercials helm since 2007, declared: "Dealers were competing for a total of just seven awards. To come away having taken the prize for one category would have been great, so to pick up two was a fantastic achievement."

Mike was quick to pay tribute to the entire Ciceley Commercials’ staff for the parts they played in helping him to win his own award.

"The trophy may have my name on it but this success is testament to the hard work and dedication of our whole team," he asserted. "Everyone at Ciceley is dedicated to delivering the highest levels of service to our customers, and helping them to operate their vehicles as efficiently and effectively as possible. That commitment is clearly reflected in our Dealer of the Year successes."

Mike, aged 47, grew up in Ormskirk and now lives in Southport. Prior to taking up his current role he spent 10 years working in a national fleet sales role for Mercedes-Benz UK.

Lorraine, who is 29 and lives in Bolton, joined Ciceley in December 2010 – she had previously worked for a marketing agency and studied advertising at the University of Central Lancashire, in Preston, where she was awarded a first class honours degree.

"I was delighted to join such a professional and forward-thinking company," she said, "and to be given the opportunity to work with Mercedes-Benz, probably the best-known brand in the world.

"Just to be nominated for this award in my first year with the company was great, but to win was completely unexpected. But like everyone else at Ciceley, I’m already working hard to try and make 2012 even more successful – with two major vehicle launches on the horizon it’s going to be an exciting year!"

A leading member of Mercedes-Benz UK’s commercial vehicle network, Ciceley Commercials is responsible for the sale and support of the German manufacturer’s award-winning truck and van ranges, as well as popular Fuso Canter light trucks.

In addition to its head office in Blackburn, it has a dealership nearby, at Junction 4 of the M65, and others in Bolton, Carlisle, Dumfries and Preston. Ciceley employs a total workforce of 180, comprising sales executives, factory-trained technicians, parts specialists, and administrative and support staff.

Despite challenging economic conditions the company again had a successful year, a highlight of which saw it deliver Britain’s first all-electric Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL van. Mike Lewis added: "We’ve continued to invest in our facilities and our staff, and to constantly remind ourselves that everyone needs to take responsibility for delivering top-quality service to our customers. This award is a very welcome recognition of that ‘total sales team’ ethos."

For truck and van operators, having reliable vehicles that are always available to work when needed is crucial. Ciceley has invested heavily in its facilities over recent years, to ensure it is best placed to deliver the industry-leading service levels that befit the legendary three-pointed star. Last year the company refurbished its Carlisle site and created Authorised Test Facility (ATF) bays in which vehicle MoTs are now being carried out at its Blackburn and Bolton workshops.

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