Longtime Mercedes car retailer Sandown Group opened its first business with the Mercedes-Benz Vans franchise.
It transformed a site, which once housed a luxury yacht company, into its first Sandown Van Center, dedicated to the maintenance and repair of light commercial vehicles of the German premium brand.
With six ramps installed and room for more, along with an alignment bay and MOT lane for Category 4 and 7 vehicles, the Sandown Van Center in Poole can meet customer maintenance needs while they wait or it can offer a drop and go as well as a collection and delivery service.
The workshop fills a void left after Marshall Motor Holdings closed its Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van Poole business at the end of 2020 to focus its activities at its Mercedes-Benz dealership in Southampton.
Sandown Group Managing Director Gavin McAllister said: “Our new van center demonstrates Sandown’s sincere commitment to growth and investment in the powerful Mercedes-Benz brands.
“This is an exciting opportunity and we are determined to exceed the expectations of the clients we are privileged to serve. “
It serves an area stretching from Amesbury to Yeovil and Southampton.
Capable of servicing Mercedes electric vans, the Sandown Van Center is equipped with four AC charging stations and plans to add more chargers in the future, including a quick charge point.
In keeping with Mercedes-Benz Vans’ “Keeping Businesses on the Move” commitment, the retailer’s team also provides free MobiloVan emergency roadside assistance to drivers experiencing problems with their vehicles while traveling in the region.
Sandown has already recruited half a dozen technicians, and its van shop is open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, and until 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
However, the company plans to extend evening hours of operation as soon as possible by introducing a split-shift system with up to 16 technicians.
Ultimately, the new center could create up to 30 jobs, the company said.
Charlie Charman (photo), Service Manager at Sandown, said: “There was a huge demand for a Mercedes-Benz service provider in Poole, and we were perfectly positioned to provide convenient service and of high quality based on dedication and professionalism.
“The new team is relishing the opportunities they now have to welcome van customers to our exemplary facilities and provide them with experiences they might have expected from a Mercedes-Benz passenger car dealership. .
In November, Sandown announced that it would acquire Epsom dealership from Mercedes-Benz Retail Group, the automaker’s own dealer group that has been steadily downsized in recent years.
Mercedes-Benz has now entered into a model agency agreement with its franchisees that will lead to the introduction of the new UK retail framework from 2023.