Northside Truck & Van has confirmed its standing as the brightest three-pointed star in the Mercedes-Benz Network by winning the manufacturer’s coveted Truck Dealer of the Year title for the second time in three years.
The Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire franchisee set the seal on a stunning performance in 2016 by enjoying another night to remember at the latest celebration of Mercedes-Benz Truck Dealer excellence.
Recently promoted Managing Director Ben Sowersby bowed out from his previous role of Truck Sales Director in the best possible way by claiming the trophy for Truck Sales Managers, and Group Marketing Manager Tom Ward stepped up to collect the Truck Marketing Team of the Year award.
Meanwhile, Northside was a runner-up in the the Truck Sales Dealer of the Year category, 2016 winner Tony Birtwistle just missed out this time on the top award for individual truck sales executives, and colleagues Chris Dyer and Nigel Hill were honoured for their personal achievements.
Underlining the company’s strength across the board, Group Aftersales Director Russ Hallowes and his team also made the final three in the category for Truck Customer Service & Parts Dealer of the Year.
Northside, which employs a team of some 460 people across its seven branches, is responsible for sales and support of the Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Canter light truck ranges. The company’s latest Mercedes-Benz Trucks triumph comes a matter of weeks after it won Mercedes-Benz Vans’ Retailer of the Year title for the second time running.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks Managing Director Mike Belk declared: “Northside’s ethos of customer care and commitment starts at the top and runs through every level of the company. It is this which sets it apart, and makes it such a fantastic ambassador for the Mercedes-Benz Trucks brand.
“Not only do Ben and his team consistently exceed our targets in terms of vehicle sales and after sales performance, but our ongoing customer research confirms they also deliver an outstanding quality of service. The one is, of course, a direct result of the other.”
Northside is the UK’s biggest-selling Mercedes-Benz Trucks Dealer – it registered no fewer than 1,261 new vehicles with gross weights of 7.5 tonnes or above in 2016, as well as 211 used models.
Operators also benefit from industry-leading levels of after sales support. Northside’s Service 24h emergency assistance technicians attended more than 2,000 truck breakdowns last year, averaging just 56 minutes to reach the scene and in 84% of cases fixing the vehicle at the roadside before sending the driver on their way. It was a similarly impressive story when it came to MoT pass rates – 97% of the trucks prepared by the Dealer for examination by a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) inspector sailed through at the first attempt.
Committed to providing the highest standards of customer service, Northside has invested heavily in new and upgraded facilities over recent years. According to Ben Sowersby, however, it is the massive investments which the company continues to make in its people that is the single most important factor behind its success.
“We are proud of the emphasis we place on training and developing colleagues at all levels of the business,” said Ben. “Our people are our greatest asset, and their enthusiasm and dedication is reflected in the resoundingly positive customer feedback we receive, and the awards we continue to win.”
Ben’s own story underlines Northside’s commitment to ‘growing its own’. He joined Northside in 2000 as a used vehicle sales executive, was running the used vehicle operation by 2004, and five years later took on responsibility for new as well as used trucks. Having been a Director since 2011, he was appointed to the top job in January.
“Northside has grown out of all recognition over the last 17 years,” he said. “We’re now a £236-million turnover business but there remains huge potential for further growth. Key to the achievement of our ambitious targets will be having the right people, in the right places, at the right times.”
The full list of award winners was as follows:
- Truck Dealer of the Year – Northside Truck & Van
- Truck Customer Service & Parts Dealer of the Year – Caledonian Truck & Van
- Truck Sales Dealer of the Year – Sparshatts Truck & Van
- Truck Sales Manager of the Year – Ben Sowersby, Northside Truck & Van
- Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Truck Team of the Year – Caledonian Truck & Van
- Truck Sales Administration Team of the Year – Mertrux Truck & Van
- Truck Marketing Team of the Year – Northside Truck & Van
- Used Truck Sales Manager of the Year – Roy Simpson, Rygor Commercials
- Used Truck Sales Executive of the Year – Paul Hickson, Roanza Truck & Van
- Truck Service Manager of the Year – MBNI Truck & Van
- Service 24h Technician of the Year – Brian Bolland, Roanza Truck & Van
- Parts Manager of the Year – Western Commercial
- Truck Sales Member of the Year – Martin Kemsley, Sparshatts Truck & Van
Source: Uk Haulier