Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles has underlined its commitment to truck and van operators in Scotland’s North-East and Highlands by embarking on a major programme of investments.
Within just 10 months of being awarded its Aberdeen franchise the dealer has already transformed its facility on the Altens Industrial Estate, where it has spent some £120,000 on refurbishing the showroom and offices, customer waiting lounge, parts and service receptions, and nine-bay workshop.
In line with its strategy of providing customers with a ‘one-stop shop’ service, Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Aberdeen has also introduced a tachograph installation, calibration and repair service.
And now the focus has switched to the final, £180,000 phase of the development project – having extended the workshop to create an additional bay, the dealer is now fitting it out for use as an ATF (Authorised Testing Facility) in which inspectors from VOSA (the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency) will undertake MoT tests on trucks of all makes.
Meanwhile, parent company Caledonian Truck & Van has acquired a site in Nairn, near Inverness, from where it will serve operators in the far north. Work is scheduled to begin soon on an extension and wholesale redevelopment of the former council depot, which is ideally located on the main Aberdeen to Inverness road.
Once complete this facility will comprise a modern, comprehensively equipped workshop with three dedicated truck bays and another four for vans, a well-stocked parts department, and sales and administration offices.
Both projects are being overseen by Dealer Principal Alex Barron and recently-appointed Group After Sales Manager Colin Birnie, who leads the company’s service and parts teams.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Aberdeen and its sister operation in Inverness are responsible for sales and support of the German manufacturer’s award-winning truck and van ranges, as well as popular Fuso Canter light trucks.
Caledonian Truck & Van also acquired the manufacturer’s Ayr franchise in 2011 and made such a success of that business – which now operates as Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Ayr – that Mercedes-Benz UK had no hesitation in entrusting it to represent the brand in the North-East and Highlands as well.
The company inherited 35 full-time staff in Aberdeen and has since created 11 additional jobs. The new recruits are now supporting its drive to provide locally-based truck and van operators with the highest possible level of service.
"There are huge opportunities to grow the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle business in this region, and particularly our share of the heavy truck market," says Alex Barron. "It was for this reason that one of the first things we did on taking up the franchise was recruit Andrew Rennie, a seasoned professional with extensive knowledge of the transport industry here in the North-East, to be our new Truck Sales Manager.
"But we recognise that if we’re to achieve our ambitious targets then we must also prove to operators that we can provide them with the all-important maintenance, repair and parts back-up on which they can rely to keep their vehicles out on the road and earning."
"That’s why we’ve brought Colin Birnie in, and that’s why we’re investing so heavily to provide the smart, efficient facilities that our customers and colleagues deserve."
Colin, who spent 33 years with previous Mercedes-Benz franchisees in Aberdeen before moving to a rival truck brand in 2007, is delighted to be working once again with the three-pointed star. "There’s a lot of investment going into the after sales side of the business right now, so it’s a very exciting time to come back," he adds.