BLS Truck and Van has opened the latest member of the Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans dealer network in Aberdeen.
The latest member of the manufacturer’s franchised network is a sister company to Bell Truck and Van, the Mercedes-Benz Dealer for the North-East of England – both are owned by Leo Group, a leading environmental, renewable energy and recycling company, which also has extensive interests in the meat industry.
Like other Mercedes-Benz Dealers in Britain, BLS also sells and supports Fuso Canter light trucks. Leading the company team is Managing Director and co-owner Ben Sowersby, who fulfils the same role at Bell Truck and Van.
Although Sowersby has now chalked-up 18 years’ service with the Mercedes-Benz brand, the Halifax-based Leo Group bought into the manufacturer’s dealer network as recently as last autumn.
It has quickly made its mark – Bell Truck and Van’s vehicle sales tallies for the first six months of 2018 were double those achieved by the previous regime in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Leo Group is now determined to replicate this success story at BLS Truck and Van.
It has made a number of key appointments, including those of Colin Birnie and Andrew Rennie, as head of aftersales and head of truck sales respectively.
Having launched its Aberdeen operation BLS Truck and Van now plans to develop a second branch as soon as possible, to serve customers in the Highlands. A shortlist of potential sites has been identified and negotiations are ongoing.
“We’re very excited about the prospects for BLS, as we’ve identified huge potential to grow this business,” said Sowersby. “It represents a substantial investment, of course. But with our exemplary customer service, and the enthusiastic backing of our partners at Mercedes-Benz, I have every confidence that we can make it work.”
He continued: “It is a privilege to represent the truck and van industry’s most prestigious brands. I look forward over the coming weeks and months to meeting many of our Scottish-based customers, to reassuring them about our long-term commitment and outlining our vision of the future.”
The Aberdeen workshop – which incorporates an Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) now awaiting sign-off for truck MoTs by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) – is operating initially on a single-shift basis.
However, Birnie is prioritising the recruitment of sufficient technicians to add a second shift, at which point the service department will remain open until midnight during the week.
“The great thing about starting from scratch again is that we’re able to hand-pick our people,” he said. “The fabric of our Aberdeen dealership has been transformed over the last few weeks. It’s a great place to work and there are fantastic opportunities for motivated individuals with a ‘can do’ attitude.”
He added: “There is a real ‘buzz’ about the place. Everyone has rolled up their sleeves and pitched in with the refurbishment work. We’re all very positive and looking forward to delivering on the new owner’s ethos of customer service.”
Mike Belk, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, said: “Ben, Andrew and Colin are three of the most accomplished professionals in our Dealer network.
“Under their outstanding leadership, and with the backing of Leo Group, BLS Truck and Van is perfectly placed to provide Mercedes-Benz and Fuso operators with an industry-leading sales service and back-up that reflects our Zero Tolerance on Downtime pledge.”
Picture caption: Ben Sowersby leads the team at BLS Truck and Van, the latest member of the Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans dealer network.