Northside Truck & Van has been named Mercedes-Benz Truck Dealer of the Year for the second year in a row.
The business took home the prize again “due to its absolute commitment to zero tolerance on vehicle downtime”.
Northside also claimed the Truck Customer Services & Parts Dealer of the Year title, while long-serving group parts manager Gavin Helme was crowned Parts Manager of the Year, and Leeds-based Daniel Backhouse was a runner-up in the Service 24h Technician of the Year category.
Northside sells and supports the Mercedes-Benz range, as well as FUSO Canter light trucks, from a network of seven branches located throughout Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
The decision last year to extend the hours of operation at its York facility means that every one of those branches remains open through the night; six of the seven are also open on Sundays, and two of them – Leeds and Sheffield – only close on Christmas Day.
Tony Birtwistle was named Truck Sales Member of the Year, and Ian Farrar and Steve Legg made the final three in the competitions for, respectively, Truck Sales Manager and Used Truck Sales Manager of the Year.
Steve Cusworth, Chris Dyer and Ian Farrar were also among the 12 top-performing sales specialists in the manufacturer’s UK dealer network.
Northside is the UK’s biggest-selling Mercedes-Benz Trucks Dealer – it registered 1,301 new vehicles with gross weights of 7.5 tonnes or above in 2017, as well as 390 used models. Both were new records.
Northside’s Service 24h emergency assistance technicians averaged 55 minutes to reach breakdown scenes last year, and in 83% of cases fixed the vehicle at the roadside.
Key to the company’s success, according to managing director Tim Ward, is the commitment and dedication of Northside’s 475-strong team.
He said: “This latest achievement, like those which have gone before, underlines the wisdom of our strategy of investing heavily not only in our branch infrastructure, but also in the training and development of our people.
“Crucially, there is no ‘them’ and ‘us’ at Northside. Rather than working in individual silos, sales and after sales colleagues recognise that they’re part of the same big team, and are all pulling in the same direction.”
Ward welcomed the fact that the contributions of the company’s Service and Parts operations, led by after sales director Russ Hallowes, had been singled out for special recognition by Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
Ward said: “The increasing complexity of modern vehicles means that more and more operators are relying on main dealers for back-up.
“We’re certainly benefiting from this trend and have been steadily increasing our after sales penetration. Last year’s total of 222,000 hours represented a 5% increase in labour sales, while at £22.5 million the total value of parts sold was up by 6%. Coming on top of strong performances in previous years, these figures represent further, very encouraging growth.”
The full list of Mercedes-Benz Truck Award winners:
Truck Dealer of the Year – Northside Truck & Van
Truck Customer Service & Parts Dealer of the Year – Northside Truck & Van
Truck Sales Team of the Year – Ciceley Commercials
Truck Sales Manager of the Year – Paul Simpson, Orwell Truck & Van
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Truck Team of the Year – Ciceley Commercials
Truck Sales Administration Team of the Year – Intercounty Truck & Van
Truck Marketing Team of the Year – Sparshatts Truck & Van (Helen Jones)
Used Truck Sales Manager of the Year – Paul Diamond, Roanza Truck & Van
Used Truck Sales Executive of the Year – Tim Sutcliffe, City West Commercials
Truck Service Manager of the Year – Thomas McDonagh, Intercounty Truck & Van
Service 24h Technician of the Year – Daniel Bellwood, Mertrux Truck & Van
Parts Manager of the Year – Gavin Helme, Northside Truck & Van
Unimog Dealer of the Year – South Cave Tractors
Truck Sales Member of the Year – Tony Birtwistle, Northside Truck & Van
“1 Team” Award – Euro Commercials
“1 Team” Award (individual) – Henry Jordan, Roanza Truck & Van