Star signings strengthen Mercedes-Benz Dealer Bell Truck and Van

BTV New Managers

The new owners of Mercedes-Benz Dealer Bell Truck and Van have strengthened their management team by making a series of appointments to key positions. Underlining the company’s commitment to staff development, most are internal promotions.

An exception is Carl Belch, who has joined the manufacturer’s representative in the North-East as its new Truck Sales Director. Carl is no stranger to the three-pointed star, however – although his last role was with truck rental specialist Close Brothers Vehicle Hire, he previously spent more than 20 years with another Mercedes-Benz Trucks and FUSO Canter Dealer, where he worked alongside Bell Truck and Van Managing Director Ben Sowersby.

“It’s great to be back in the Mercedes-Benz ‘fold’, and to be working with Ben again,” said Carl. “Bell Truck and Van has a great history but under its dynamic new leadership this company also has huge potential for growth. We’ll be pulling out all the stops to deliver the finest customer experience possible to customers old and new – everyone here appreciates that is the foundation to a successful truck sales operation.”

Meanwhile, after seven years with the business former Group Financial Controller Martin Johnson has been appointed Financial Director. “These are exciting times for Bell Truck and Van, with plans for major improvements and developments of our network of sites already well underway,” he said.

Also promoted from their previous sales positions are Emma Griffiths and Andrew Scott, who are now Van Sales Managers for Bell’s Stockton and Longbenton branches, respectively.

On the Customer Service side, former Bell employee Paul Howie returns to Longbenton as After Sales Manager, following a stint with another brand. “The opportunity to rejoin Bell at such an exciting time was one I just couldn’t pass up,” he said. Meanwhile Graham Taylor becomes Parts Manager at Longbenton, having previously served as Parts Advisor.

The changes come less than six months after Bell Truck and Van, a founder member in 1974 of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network, was acquired by leading environmental, renewable energy and recycling company Leo Group. The new owner has the financial muscle required to undertake the comprehensive programme of improvements in branch infrastructure which are considered essential if Bell is to meet the manufacturer’s ambitious growth targets.

Bell Truck and Van is also investing in its branch network. Among its top priorities is the delivery of a long-standing plan to develop a van sales and service centre on the Dealer’s established site in Stockton-on-Tees, where staff have been working from temporary facilities. Completion of this scheme will relieve pressure on Bell’s workshop in nearby Billingham, which can then be used solely to repair and maintain trucks.

Bell has also completed a deal to acquire a seven-acre site on the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead.

Ben Sowersby commented: “The excellent reputation that Bell Truck and Van enjoys here in the North-East, and indeed beyond, owes much to the enthusiastic and dedicated company team we inherited.

“As a great believer in the benefits to be gained from investing in people and helping them fulfil their potential, I am delighted to welcome colleagues to their new positions. Customers can rest assured that we are all working hard to provide them with the highest possible standards of service during this transitional phase.”