Steve Bridge, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, won the FTA's Van Excellence Outstanding Achievement award at the 2019 Commercial Fleet Awards.
Mark Cartwright, head of vans at FTA, presented the award to Bridge at the cerermony, which took place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on Tuesday, October 8 2019.
He said: “This award is our opportunity to recognise and thank those special individuals who have shown fantastic support for Van Excellence and the wider van operating industries.
“People who’ve influenced outcomes, inspired others both within their teams and more widely, and have made an impact.
“He understood and supported Van Excellence back when we first asked for his feedback and has continued to freely give his time and honest views in support of the industry that he clearly loves, as he has been in it for nearly 30 years.
“Steve is someone who really does care about his customers, his prospects, his team, and the industry as a whole. Someone who, if he feels strongly about something, will throw his hat in to the ring with wholehearted support.
“His involvement with Van Excellence has opened doors and demonstrated the validity of the scheme in the early days, and his continued support has allowed us to flourish. It’s no exaggeration to say that I don’t think Van Excellence would have got to where it has without him.”
Mercedes-Benz delivered the world’s first motorised van in 1896, and its nationwide workshops are open over 105 hours a week on average, however, it is an industry Bridge says he loves.
Bridge said: "I am truly humbled to be receiving a Lifetime Achievement award in recognition for my work within an industry that I genuinely do love.
“Working with vans might not always be glamourous, but it is a down-to-earth community of people all striving to keep their businesses, customers and lives moving.
“We all support each other and get through the tough times together, as well as celebrate the good times, of course.
“While I might not be in the industry for another 30 years, I hope I have left enough of a legacy to inspire others and show just what a powerful and vital contribution we make to the UK and beyond.”