CommercialFleet

Mercedes-Benz Vans announces Steve Bridge exit

Mercedes-Benz Vans UK has announced that managing director, Steve Bridge, will be leaving his role at the end of January.

Bridge, who was recognised for his contribution to the transport sector with an Outstanding Achievement accolade at the 2019 Commercial Fleet Awards, is leaving to head up the newest Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealer as managing director of eStar Truck & Van, based in the North West and North Wales.

In his new role, he will work closely with transport industry entrepreneur Sid Sadique, who launched his latest venture in September; eStar Truck & Van represents the three-pointed star in the North West and North Wales from headquarters in Warrington and other branches on Deeside, and in Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent.

“I’m passionate about the Mercedes-Benz brand and delighted that although I’m leaving the company with which I’ve spent the last two very happy decades, in my new position I’ll still be representing the world’s number one truck and van business,” he said. “The opportunity to oversee eStar Truck & Van during a period of exciting evolution is one I’m relishing, and which I simply couldn’t resist.”

Sadique said: “I’ve known Steve for many years and am delighted to welcome him to my executive team as managing director of eStar Truck & Van.

"Between us we have spent almost two-thirds of a century serving commercial vehicle operators. Not only do we understand the market, but we’re also perfectly placed to meet the changing demands of our customers.”

Bridge, who grew up in the North West and still lives in the region, began his commercial vehicle career in 1983 at a heavy truck dealership. He moved into heavy truck rental prior to joining Mercedes-Benz as regional fleet sales manager in May 2000. 

He quickly progressed to become the national fleet sales manager, before taking on the role of sales and marketing director, effectively responsible for the Mercedes-Benz van business unit in the UK.

In January 2014, he became MD of the business, responsible for both sales and customer service in the UK. In January 2017, he then headed up the newly-formed board of management for Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, when the Brand became its own legal entity.

Bridge has helped take Mercedes-Benz Vans’ sales volume from 25,000 vehicles a year, to 44,000 units last year, as well as introducing new models to the market, including the electric vehicle range, and piloting many international projects for Mercedes-Benz HQ in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz said Bridge has been passionate about supporting those who buy and run their vehicles, having previously spent more than 10 years while working at GE Capital and Lex Transfleet as a customer of the brand.

Bridge takes up his latest role at a time of unprecedented change for the road transport industry. “The pandemic has proved how much we all rely on the truck and van communities to keeping the country moving,” he explained. “Many businesses have quickly adapted their offerings to provide online solutions for customers, or introduced new delivery services to ensure that their products can still reach consumers.”

His successor at Mercedes-Benz Vans UK will be announced in due course.


Virtual Fleet & Mobility Live 2020: The virtual fleet expo

Video: Fleet News editor-in-chief Stephen Briers and events director Chris Lester introduce the 2020 virtual event and give a preview of what it will look like.

The annual event was due to take place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 6-7 but as a result of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and after consultation with the visitor advisory board, Fleet News has taken the decision to hold an online event in November instead.

Among the exclusive features at the virtual event will be a special EV & Hybrid Showroom which will bring to life the latest electric models with interactive displays that will enable you to get up close to the UK’s best fleet suppliers.

Visitors and exhibitors will be able to communicate through live chat, participate in live Q&As, ‘visit’ branded booths, and find out about industry-leading technology solutions.

The decision to go virtual was made easier by the fact that around 40% of fleets already have, or expect to shortly have, a company travel ban that would prevent them from attending live events this year, while a similar proportion did not anticipate attending live events until sometime in 2021.

 

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