Marshall Truck & Van upgrades Andover branch

Marshall Truck & Van upgrades Andover branch

Operators of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO trucks in north-west Hampshire and beyond can now reap the benefits of a £1m facilities upgrade by Marshall Truck & Van in Andover. CVW reports.

Established in 2016, Marshall Truck & Van was created out of the acquisition of the Ridgeway Group by the multi-franchise Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) Group, whose various businesses included the former Mercedes- Benz commercial vehicles franchisee for Hampshire and Dorset. The £100m deal was claimed at the time to be the biggest in the automotive sector for 10 years. The company took on its predecessor’s sites in Fareham, Andover and Croydon, and continues to operate from each of these locations to this day.

It also ‘inherited’ an aftersales facility on the Nursling Industrial Estate in Southampton. However, at the beginning of 2020, Marshall relocated its operation to a purpose-built, flagship facility on the other side of the road. The new branch, which represented a £4 million investment, had been talked about by the previous franchisee for years; it was Marshall that made it a reality.

The opening of its new site coincided with the arrival of Wayne Edwards as the company’s new head of business and Wayne continues to lead the 155-strong company team.

Marshall Truck & Van

Hard on the heels of the investment in its Southampton site, the company recently completed the extension of the workshop at its Andover branch, adding an additional couple of bays to the previous four. One of the new bays is equipped with rollers and other equipment required to undertake tachograph installations, calibrations and repairs. These tasks were previously assigned to an independent specialist that only worked during normal working hours –and Marshall’s decision to bring this service in-house means it can carry out such tasks late into the night, increasing convenience and restricting downtime for customers.

The nine-month project also entailed the creation of a new waiting area for drivers, while members of the Marshall team have benefited too – offices have been facelifted, with a new meeting room installed, and technicians who previously took their breaks in a portable unit now have their own canteen and washroom.

Wayne Edwards says: “The very substantial investment we’ve made at Andover is benefiting customers and colleagues alike and reflects a desire on our part to be the number one provider of truck and light commercial vehicle maintenance and repair, parts services and sales on the South coast.”

Wayne continues: “David Collard (Andover general manager) and his team have made great strides with local operators. The timely, customer-focused back-up they deliver has been instrumental in enhancing established relationships, and – as word of mouth has spread locally – in winning new converts to our brands.”

Leading from the front: David Collard, General Manager at Marshall Truck & Van’s Andover branch, has long experience of the Mercedes-Benz and FUSO brands

David comments: “The development is great news, not least because it means that if a truck comes in at night with a tachograph-related issue we can jump straight on it, rather than having to tell the customer they’ll have to book a separate visit during the day. We aim, as far as possible, to provide a ‘one- stop shop’ service, so the tacho bay adds another important string to our bow.”

He continued: “Colleagues are delighted, too. From a motivational point of view, this is now a smarter, more appealing place to come to work. We’re now trying to bring in more technicians and the enhancements we’ve made can only help with recruitment.”

At your service: Andover Workshop Manager Kate Leonard is pictured with technicians, from left, Gary Hayward, Chris Ward (Technical Specialist), Tayler Machin, Simon Causley and Stuart Glover

Operators that rely on Marshall Truck & Van’s Andover team to maintain their vehicles include electrical goods distributor Ken White Distribution and Downes Transport of Amesbury.

Until five years ago, Ken White only ran Swedish-built trucks but today all but three of its 26 vehicles are Mercedes-Benz, and the transformation of its fleet owes much to the aftersales support it receives from Marshall Truck & Van. “The maintenance contracts are very cost-effective and the service we receive from the Andover workshop is absolutely fantastic,” says director and transport manager Ian Reeve. “They’re very flexible and when an issue crops up, as one always will from time to time with even the best trucks, they can always be relied upon to resolve it quickly and efficiently.”

Marshall Truck & Van
Playing their parts: Supervisor Anthony Gillmore and Advisor Wendy Miller ensure the shelves are always well stocked

He added: “We still have our own workshop, but we entrust the maintenance of our MB trucks to them because it makes our lives so much easier.”

Downes undertakes some maintenance work in-house, but also signs-up to Mercedes-Benz Complete Service Contracts and relies on the support of Marshall’s in Andover.

“The back-up is excellent,” said proprietor Douglas Downes. “Its workshop team are very flexible and will always attend to our trucks in the evenings or on Saturdays. On the rare occasions we’ve had a problem, the 24-hour breakdown service has also performed every bit as well as we could have hoped.”

Marshall Truck & Van
Point of contact: Service Advisors Kim Banwell and Charlie Francis, a relatively new member of the team, are ready to help customers

In addition to its new Southampton site and the Andover extension, Marshall’s dedicated van site in Croydon was extensively refurbished last year, and it recently began servicing vans from MMH Group’s MB passenger car outlet in Portsmouth.

It seems that the future holds no bounds for Marshall, given the given the continuing commitment to investment in its sites. The company has further plans, but perhaps not unnaturally, is being coy about them at the moment – although the track record suggests that, whatever they are, they’ll be big!

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