With a series of takeovers, newly built dealer points and fresh facilities in the pipeline, there has been significant movement in the commercial vehicle dealership sector in recent months.
Renault Trucks has been particularly busy recently with Renault Truck Commercials Felixstowe moving to a new 1.5-acre premises one mile from its previous location.
Facilities include a three-bay workshop and bodyshop, providing all-makes servicing, repairs and maintenance, as well as a rest room with refreshments, shower, free Wi-Fi and TV.
Also, Renault Trucks distributor Sparks Commercial Services has broadened its reach across the South West with the acquisition of Renault Truck Commercials Exeter.
Operating as Sparks Commercials Exeter, it takes the number of its sites to five, joining facilities in Southampton, Portsmouth, Poole and Swindon.
Michael Spark, Managing Director, said: “Sparks Commercials Exeter is a perfect strategic fit for us in terms of location, with excellent access to the M5 and A30, and underpins our growth plans to further develop our business across the South and South West of England.”
Northern Ireland Renault Trucks dealer Diamond Trucks is to open a new Approved Renault Trucks dealer in Warrington in August.
Work is underway to remodel and refurbish an existing 45,000 square foot building on the 4.5-acre site on Howley Trade Park, which will include an office, workshop areas for staff, and facilities for new, used and aftersales customers as well as waiting drivers.
“The acquisition of our new site in Warrington is a good strategic fit for us, extending our influence to support Renault Trucks operators on both sides of the water, and opening up opportunities for new business in the area,” said Harry Nash, Director at Diamond Trucks.
Meanwhile, Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East is relocating and expanding its Milton Keynes operations to a new site in Bedford.
The new 28-acre site on the Wilstead Industrial Park is about 11 miles from the current dealership and will increase the capacity of the workshop which will maintain Volvo trucks and buses, and also offer bodywork and trailer servicing.
Workshops include brake testing, headlight beam setting and tachograph and speed limiter calibration equipment.
In addition it will stock more than £425,000 worth of Volvo parts.
Three Volvo Action Service vans will also be based at the site, which are on standby 24/7 for emergency roadside assistance.
Stuart Potter, Operations Director at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East, said the location of the new site is “a perfect fit for our network”.
“For the last 25 years Dawsongroup has been both our landlord and customer in Milton Keynes, with our team sharing their site,” he said.
“They have been fantastic to us, but as our local operations continue to expand, it was the right time to move into our own depot.
“We’ve been able to tailor the configuration of the workshop to cater for both current and future needs, supporting diesel, LNG and electric fleets.”
Ford & Slater, the DAF dealer, recently opened a new 2.5-acre facility in Birtley, Tyne and Wear, with five workshop bays.
The new site is running 24 hours a day from Monday 7am to Saturday 7:30pm, as well on Sunday from 7am to 7:30pm.
A total of 19 trained DAF technicians are based at the site which also has a tachograph calibration centre and can hold as much as £800,000 in parts stock.
The dealer can also deliver Genuine DAF Parts and TRP all-make truck and trailer parts free to anywhere in the North East.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the team involved making Ford & Slater Birtley possible and we’re looking forward opening our doors to existing and new customers in the region”, said Tim Strevens, Joint Managing Director at Ford and Slater.
Meanwhile, Motus Truck & Van has opened a new 3-acre Mercedes-Benz service and parts centre in Witham, Essex.
The site, alongside the A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester, houses a 27,000 sq ft building with nine full-length truck and trailer bays, three of which have 72ft pits, with another eight set aside for van maintenance and repairs.
In addition, there is an ATF lane at the facility which is open from 6am on Mondays until 10pm on Fridays, and on Saturday mornings.
Lee Seward, Motus Truck & Van’s Managing Director, said: “This is an important area in which Mercedes-Benz has not previously been represented.
“It sits between our dealerships in East Anglia and at West Thurrock, and is going to play a big part in our growth strategy.”
Isuzu Truck UK has also strengthened its dealer coverage in the south west with the appointment of Yeovil-based SMV Commercials as an authorised repairer.
The 2.5-acre site operates 11 workshop bays, two service vans, a parts store and an ATF lane.
SMV Commercials says it will work closely with its nearest full Isuzu truck dealer AK Commercials in Bristol to provide both new and existing customers with even higher levels of after sales service in the area.
MAN Truck & Bus UK is currently working on a new brownfield facility in Stockton-on-Tees, due to open its doors this August, doubling the footprint of its existing Bowesfield Lane site which it sits alongside.
Once built, the new facility will offer 18,212 sq ft of space and will house ten vehicle repair points, a service reception and parts counter area, customer meeting points, dedicated sales offices and hot desks for field-based staff.
Drivers waiting with vehicles will also have a dedicated waiting area with a digital television, vending machines and mobile phone charging points.
Stefan Thyssen, Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus UK, said: “Doubling its footprint, when compared to the existing site, the new facility will offer a greater range of compelling customer service solutions and increased workshop throughput, which means we can react even quicker and more efficiently to customer and vehicle service requirements.”
It is encouraging to see dealer groups continuing to invest in high quality facilities, and provide customers with an experience and a level of service that matches the reputations of the brands they represent.