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Northside steals the show at Mercedes-Benz Truck awards

Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire franchisee Northside Truck & Van enjoyed a night to remember at the latest celebration of Mercedes-Benz Truck Dealer excellence.

Northside claimed no fewer than three of the evening’s eight awards including the biggest prize of all – the Truck Dealer of the Year title.

It also won the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Truck Team trophy, while Truck Sales Director Ben Sowersby took the honours on behalf of his own team when he was named Truck Sales Manager of the Year.

Underlining its all-round strength, the company additionally made the final three in the category for Truck Customer Service Dealer, which focuses on after sales back-up, as well as that for Truck Sales Team. Meanwhile, Truck Sales Executive Tony Birtwistle was a runner-up in the Truck Sales Masters Member of the Year contest, and one of only four sales executives nationally to win a Diamond Club award in recognition of his tally of rigid vehicle registrations.

Northside’s awards success has not been restricted to its Truck offering either. At the Mercedes-Benz Van Academy Awards ceremony, held previously, a stunning performance by its light commercial vehicle sales team earned Van Sales Director Leigh Margel the new title of Van Sales Leader of the Year.

Key to the company’s success in registering nearly 1,000 more new vans last year, than it did in the previous 12 months, was its accreditation last year as one of the country’s first Mercedes-Benz Van ProCenters. This international programme puts customer care at the very top of the agenda.

All of these awards recognised an outstanding performance by Northside Truck & Van during 2014. “It was certainly a great year, thanks to another magnificent effort by the company team,” recalled Dealer Principal Tim Ward. “We’ve made fantastic progress across all parts of our business and it’s gratifying that our achievements have been recognised by the manufacturer.”

Northside continues to make huge investments in its people and facilities. Having opened its new Immingham dealership and spent an additional £1.5 million last year, the company is now pumping another £2 million into its branch network in 2015. Topping the agenda is a major refurbishment and extension of its Sheffield facility, which is just getting underway.

Tim continued: “We firmly believe that if you invest in your infrastructure and in training, then your staff will be more motivated and engaged, with the result that they also become more productive and – crucially – customer satisfaction improves.”

More than half of its 440 employees have now been through Northside’s ‘Ten steps to good customer service’ programme. This stipulates, for example, that incoming telephone calls must be answered within 10 seconds, that vehicles will be ready for collection within 10 minutes of the agreed time, and that unscheduled repairs must be started within 10 hours. “This isn’t just a cosmetic exercise,” insisted Tim. “We have systems in place to ensure these things actually happen.”

Northside Truck & Van sells and supports the award-winning Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle and FUSO Canter light truck ranges from a network of branches in Bradford, Doncaster, Hull, Immingham, Leeds, Sheffield and York.

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