Tribute to Don Marshall of Mertrux 23 November 2011

The UK commercial vehicle industry has lost one of its most respected figures, with the passing of Don Marshall, the founder of Britain's longest-serving Mercedes-Benz dealership.

The chairman of East Midlands group Mertrux died last Friday (18 November) after a long illness, aged 72.

Mertrux, which has headquarters in Derby and other dealerships in Leicester, Nottingham and Mansfield, has represented Mercedes-Benz in the East Midlands since 1971, three years before Mercedes-Benz UK opened for business.

The Marshall family also owns the Lancashire DAF and Lothian DAF truck operations, which are based in Preston and Edinburgh respectively, and previously held an ERF (now MAN) franchise.

Marshall came from an agricultural background and always loved machinery. He began his career in the motor trade in 1963, landing a job two years later selling Dodge and Commer tractors for Burton-upon-Trent dealer Bert Deacon.

Continued growth over the next decade, and the offer by Mercedes-Benz UK of a passenger car franchise to run alongside the truck and van operation, prompted a move in 1981 to the much larger premises on the Pentagon Island in Derby which are still the company's home.

Despite his interests on the car side, Marshall was proud to declare himself a truck man: "I've probably got diesel in my veins," he joked on more than one occasion.

John Challen

Related Companies
DAF Trucks Ltd
MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd
Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd
Mertrux Ltd

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