There’s a new man leading the team at Rossetts Commercials, the Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer for Surrey, Sussex and parts of Hampshire.
Dealer Principal Richard Wheeler is no stranger to the three-pointed star, however, as he spent the last 10 years working for car group Lookers Mercedes-Benz, in Kent.
Richard was involved in the car industry for nearly 30 years, experience that will be invaluable in his new role, as Mercedes-Benz Vans is focused on growing its share of the retail market.
He joins Rossetts at a particularly exciting time, given the launch earlier this year of the ground-breaking X-Class, the first Mercedes-Benz pickup, and the arrival later this month of an all-new Sprinter model that sets new standards for connectivity and efficiency.
A Mercedes-Benz franchisee for 21 years, Rossetts Commercials employs 165 colleagues, who work from its head office in Worthing, and other branches in Aldershot, Crawley and Eastbourne.
As well as selling and supporting the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Vans range – which also comprises Citan and Vito models – Rossetts 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,” declared Richard, whose first priority on taking up his new position was to visit each of the company’s branches and meet staff.
“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. “The Mercedes-Benz Vans range is widely recognised as the best on the market, and there is plenty of experience within the business when it comes to supporting the fleet sector, where the Sprinter in particular has always performed so strongly.
“As a brand, however, 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 enthused. “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 ATF (Authorised Testing Facility) lane.
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