eStar Truck & Van has been awarded sales franchises for both Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans at its predecessor’s facility on Deeside, and for Mercedes-Benz Trucks at Stoke and Trafford Park. It is also providing aftersales support for both brands from all three of these sites, as well as others in Warrington and Liverpool.
Roanza Truck & Van had been struggling long before the arrival of COVID-19, although losses incurred during 2019 were exacerbated by the lockdown, according to Mercedes-Benz. The company went into administration on Tuesday 8 September; the acquisition by eStar Truck & Van was completed the same evening.
Sadique is a long-established Mercedes-Benz customer, initially as a director at Biffa Waste Services. He left to found Riverside Truck Rental in 2006, and that business is now part of the NRG Fleet Services Group of companies established in 2013. So, too, is Electra Commercial Vehicles, the zero-emission truck OEM he launched in 2017.
In 2018 Sadique joined the franchised Mercedes-Benz network for the first time, when he teamed-up with brothers Steve and Paul Rooney to purchase Sparshatt Truck & Van. He remains as chairman and a shareholder of the dedicated truck dealer, which operates from four locations in Kent.
Sadique explained the attraction of the businesses to him: “As a Mercedes-Benz dealer we can provide our customers with everything from a small Citan van to a 44-tonne tractor unit, and are just as well placed to serve the sole trader with a single vehicle, as we are the major logistics fleet operator. No other manufacturer can lay claim to the same breadth of product and services.”
Recalling the fast-moving events of recent few weeks, he continued: “We looked at the franchise proposition from a strategic point of view and realised that given the different service points and offerings we already have, the opportunities to ‘cross-sell’ made for a compelling business case.”
While acknowledging that the acquisition had saved some 340 jobs, he added: “That’s important, of course, but it was never about being the man on the white horse… it’s about delivering what essentially is a really good offer from a product and service point of view, and just enhancing it.
“This business needs investment, but in the form of time, not metal, or facilities, or even money. What we’ll be looking to do, therefore, is inject new energy and enthusiasm, as well as some fresh ideas about the way we do things, to reflect the way the world is changing. It’s already apparent that we’ve inherited some excellent people, and it will be nice to give them something to look forward to.”
An early priority will be to establish an eEducation centre, possibly at Trafford Park, where fully electric, zero-emission Mercedes-Benz eVito and eSprinter vans, and FUSO eCanter trucks, could be showcased alongside Electra products based on low-entry Mercedes-Benz Econic chassis. “We’re determined to take a lead and support operators as they make the transition to electric power,” said Sadique.