Managing director Steve Hunt declared: “This project has underlined our commitment to keeping businesses moving. We’re very proud of our new dealership, which is right up there with the best in the industry.”
Formerly the site of a steelworks, and then a plastics factory, the new-build features an open plan reception area designed and furnished in line with the latest Mercedes-Benz corporate standards. The seven-acre plot offers plenty of space for displaying new and pre-owned vehicles, and – crucially – for customers to manoeuvre and park their own trucks and vans.
“We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback on the amount of room we have here, as well as on our excellent location close to the M5 and M6 motorways,” continued Hunt. “This substantial investment reflects the ever-increasing demand from operators of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO trucks, and Mercedes-Benz vans. We now look forward to surpassing their expectations in terms of the quality of our service.”
The drive-through workshop incorporates an authorised testing facility (ATF); there is also an ADR bay allocated to work on fuel tankers and related specialist equipment for transporting hazardous loads, and another for the installation and calibration of tachographs.
A further 11 truck bays – each, at 24 metres, comfortably long enough to accommodate an articulated tractor unit and semi-trailer combination – and eight van bays are available for routine maintenance and repairs. Midlands Truck & Van’s own technicians carry out MOT tests on light commercial vehicles in the Class 4, 5 and 7 categories, at times – night or day – best suited to customers.
In addition, a 650m2 parts department offers a 25% increase on the shelf space available at Midlands Truck & Van’s previous branch in Saltley.
The Smethwick opening marks the completion of a major programme of investment in its branch network by Midlands Truck & Van, one of two Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle franchisees owned by Northern Ireland’s Ballyvesey Holdings Group.
It recently spent £3 million on acquiring and transforming the former Mercedes-Benz car outlet in Whitley, Coventry, into one of the country’s biggest Mercedes-Benz van showrooms. The dealer’s former commercial vehicle centre next door is now a truck-dedicated facility.
Midlands Truck & Van’s purpose-built branch, in Willenhall, Wolverhampton, is also still relatively new, having opened at the end of 2015 at a cost of £4 million.