Richard Wheeler has joined Rossetts Commercials, the Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer for Surrey, Sussex and parts of Hampshire, as Dealer Principal.
Richard previously spent the last 10 years working for car group Lookers Mercedes-Benz, in Kent, experience that will be invaluable in his new role, focused on growing Mercedes-Benz Vans' share of the retail market.
He joins Rossetts as the X-Class ' Mercedes-Benz first pickup ' has just been launched and an all-new Sprinter model will be available this summer.
Rossetts Commercials has been a Mercedes-Benz franchisee for 21 years and employs 165 staff at its head office in Worthing and other branches in Aldershot, Crawley and Eastbourne.
Rossetts also provides aftersales back-up to operators of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Canter trucks, buses and coaches, and offers vehicles for short and long-term hire via the RentaMerc brand.
'This is a great opportunity for me, and it's one that I'm determined to make the most of,' said Richard.
'I've inherited a terrific team of people and was impressed by their ethos of teamwork and togetherness ' there's none of the them-and-us attitude between sales and aftersales which you can find in some dealerships,' he said.
'We're all looking forward to ensuring that Rossetts Commercials customers benefit from the finest sales experiences, and our total commitment to keeping their businesses moving'
Richard's CV also includes an 18-year stint with another major German car brand.
'Having spent my entire career in the car industry I was keen to take on a fresh challenge,' he continued.
'I jumped at the chance to join Rossetts, not least because I served three years with Lookers as After Sales Director and very much enjoyed having responsibility for multiple sites which this entailed'
The prospect of representing a van manufacturer for the first time is also one that he is relishing.
'Ultimately, my job is to provide strategic direction and leadership,' he said.
'As a brand, Mercedes-Benz Vans is adopting a more car-like, retail-based outlook, which ties in perfectly with my own background. We have some issues to address in terms of our facilities, but I'm passionate about customer service and confident that the insights and skills which I bring will help to ensure Rossetts achieves its ambitious growth targets'
One of Richard's first tasks was to appoint a new Site Manager for the company's Aldershot branch, a position which has now been filled by Nick Thomas. A seasoned commercial vehicle specialist who began his career as a technical apprentice in 1976, Nick has spent most of his career working with Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans.
'I'm working with a great team and loving every minute of my new job,' he said.
'We're very busy but there's also great potential for growth in this area'
The Aldershot workshop is open from 8am until 2am on weekdays, and until 1pm on Saturdays. In addition to maintenance and repair services, the team offer Class 4, 5 and 7 MoTs on vans and minibuses, while inspectors from the DVSA carry out truck tests in the Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) lane.