Mercedes-Benz Dealer Western Commercial has underlined its commitment to the manufacturer’s strategy of Customer Dedication by opening Scotland’s first centre devoted solely to the sale of its award-winning truck range.
The impressive facility on the Righead Industrial Estate, Bellshill, previously retailed vans as well as Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Canter trucks. And while its workshop team continue to maintain and repair commercial vehicles of all sizes, truck operators are now assured of an even quicker, more focused service.
At the heart of the manufacturer’s approach is the recognition that while a significant number of operators run both product lines, the overwhelming majority of customers for trucks and vans have very different expectations and requirements of their vehicle supplier.
“Customer Dedication is all about meeting those different needs,” explained Western Commercial Dealer Principal Andrew Smith. “In the case of trucks, this means providing hauliers and other operators with facilities and services which are perfectly tailored to the vehicles they run, and the legislative framework within which they work.
“So, for example, whereas parking space for trucks at Bellshill was severely limited previously because of all the new and used vans we were retailing from this site, the fact that the vans have gone means access is no longer an issue and there is now much more room in which to move heavy vehicles around.
“In line with Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Zero Tolerance on Downtime pledge, we’re also about to open a new vehicle pdi and preparation centre adjacent to our Broxburn Dealership,” Andrew continued. “This will free up pressure on the workshop teams at Bellshill and our other main branches, allowing us to further reduce lead times for planned maintenance and be even more responsive when it comes to emergency breakdowns.”
Western Commercial has taken the opportunity to restructure its Truck Sales team. Appointed earlier this year, Ray Cooper brings a 20-year track record of achievement with two other manufacturers to the key position of Truck Sales Manager.
“These are hugely exciting times for Western’s truck sales operation,” declared Ray, who reports to Sales Director Jim Drysdale. “The Mercedes-Benz and FUSO product ranges have never been stronger and lead the field in terms of fuel efficiency, safety and ‘whole life’ operating costs. We’ve a chassis for just about every application, and a huge choice of cabs with variants that will suit the most demanding of drivers.
“All of this, coupled with a comprehensive portfolio of flexible, cost-effective finance solutions and our outstanding after sales back-up, means we now have a tremendous opportunity to grow our business with established customers, while also forging new relationships with operators we’ve not spoken to or dealt with previously.”
An early priority for Ray was to initiate the return to Western Commercial of Fleet Sales Manager Angus McIntosh. The move represents something of a ‘Back to the Future’ for Angus, who left the Dealer for one of its competitors in 2009, having begun his career with the three-pointed star in 1993.
In another important development, Truck Sales Executive Geoff Davies has taken on the newly-created role of Heavy Haulage & SLT Specialist – already a familiar figure to heavy haulage operators throughout the UK, Geoff is believed to be the first Mercedes-Benz sales professional fully dedicated to this uniquely demanding market segment, in which sales success requires a high level of expertise.
Completing Ray’s team are proven performers Mel Berwick, who retails new trucks; Norrie Rae, who manages the Dealer’s used truck sales operation; and Robert Snodgrass, who serves the municipal sector and customers for special trucks; while the recruitment last year of trainee Richard Harvey is evidence of Western’s enthusiasm for ‘growing its own’. They are supported by Truck Operations & Product Trainer Malcolm Galloway and drivers Jimmy Burke, Alan Armstrong and David Simpson, Sales Administrators Jan Flores and Elaine Hegarty, and Marketing Manager Louise MacPherson.
Like the Service departments at its other Central Belt branches in Govan and Broxburn, Western Commercial’s Bellshill workshop is open round-the-clock throughout the week, and on Saturdays and Sundays. The Dealer also provides Service 24h emergency roadside assistance, 365 days of the year.
Committed to providing customers with ‘one-stop shop’ support, Western offers a comprehensive portfolio of services that complement its repair and maintenance back-up – for example, the Dealer’s factory-trained technicians also install, calibrate and repair tachographs, and undertake wheel alignments, and it operates Authorised Testing Facility lanes for truck MoT tests at its Broxburn and Govan branches.
After Sales Director Derek Cotton has also created a new administration team at Bellshill, whose job is to ensure that all documentation relating to vehicle maintenance is accurate and made available without delay to operators.
“This is just one element of our drive to improve efficiency,” explained Derek. “Upwards of 80% of the vehicles now going through the workshop at Belshill are trucks and we’re determined to provide their operators with the industry-leading level of service they are entitled to expect.”