Western Commercial, the Mercedes-Benz dealer for Scotland’s Central Belt, is targeting major growth in used vehicle sales and raising its service game after making a series of key appointments.
Norrie Rae spent three years with Western Commercial before leaving in 2007 to work for another Mercedes-Benz franchisee. Now he’s back and leading a drive to lift the company’s used commercial vehicle sales operation to new heights of success.
Norrie is planning to spend much of his time on the road, meeting customers face to face, spreading the word about the superb deals available on Mercedes-Benz used commercial vehicles and looking out for high-quality, late-model examples to buy.
Having clocked up more than 20 years’ experience with the brand, most of which were spent in Scotland, he has a comprehensive knowledge of the country’s transport sector, as well as the award-winning Mercedes-Benz range of trucks and vans.
Thanks to his excellent contacts within the manufacturer’s dealer network, and at its Approved Used Commercial Vehicle Centre at Wentworth Park, near Barnsley, Norrie has access to a huge pool of vehicles and can source virtually any model to meet any specification.
Most of the pre-owned vehicles retailed by Western Commercial are supplied through the Mercedes-Benz Approved Used programme and guaranteed to be among the finest on the market – each vehicle goes through a rigorous series of checks and inspections, and is refurbished where necessary before being presented for sale.
Norrie will manage used vehicle sales across Western’s sites at East Mains Industrial Estate, Broxburn; Melford Road, Righead Industrial Estate, Bellshill; and Broomloan Road, Govan, Glasgow. He is also supported by truck and van sales executives at all three locations, who can sell used as well as new vehicles.
Meanwhile, Western Commercial has restructured the team in charge of its three busy workshops and recruited a trio of Assistant Service Managers – once again demonstrating its willingness to invest in its people, in order to deliver the best possible experience for its customers.
After Sales Director Derek Cotton said: "Thanks to the work we’ve done to bring local operators the highest levels of service, we’ve enjoyed significant growth in our parts and service business. But this in turn has put increased pressure on our workshop staff.
"As problems go, of course, that’s a great one to have! We’ve now taken the opportunity presented by this growth to re-structure the department and making these appointments to provide added support to our Service Managers and more guidance to our hard-working teams of technicians."
The new Assistant Service Managers are Gary McMillan at Bellshill, Lara Pope at Broxburn and Brian Cooper at Govan. Lara and Brian are both internal promotees, underlining Western’s commitment to ‘growing its own’ by training and developing the careers of its employees. Gary, meanwhile, comes from a passenger car background but brings a wealth of experience to his new role – he has been in the trade for 24 years, the last 10 of which were spent with a Mercedes-Benz franchise.
Western’s after sales operation continued to build on its recent successes and chalked up some impressive milestones in 2011. Key achievements included a first-time pass rate for vehicles it prepared for MoT tests of 93 per cent, an average Mercedes-Benz Service 24h emergency breakdown response time of just 58 minutes – particularly impressive given the huge area the dealership covers – and a roadside repair rate of nearly 75 per cent. Meanwhile the parts department, which stocks nearly one million items, recorded a first pick rate of just under 90 per cent.
Market Area Director Andrew Smith, who leads Western Commercial’s strong company team, concluded: "All of these appointments – and the fact that we are also actively recruiting for yet more new staff across a range of disciplines – are testament to our tireless devotion to customer service, and to the future of our own business."