It's time to move on
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A Robert Manchip and Roger Sheddick The sheer volume of vehicle movements has prompted lsuzu Truck dealer Commercial Motors (Wales) to move to bigger premises Words: Kevin Swallow
lsuzu Truck dealer Commercial Motors (Wales) is planning to move to a new, 2-acre site close to its present 1.5-acre base in Newport. The dealer, which is also an MAN parts and service outlet, needs more space to accommodate the constant inflow and outflow of vehicles, says chairman Roger Sheddick.
"We're busy on the MAN servicing side; we'd like to do more, but we have to move three trucks around to get one truck in and out," he explains. "Access to our current premises isn't that good." The move should help the dealer take advantage of any extra business generated by the redevelopment of some areas of the city.
Along with wife Gill and colleague Robert Manchip, Sheddick has built the truck dealership he bought four years ago into a thriving concern. This follows a long stint in haulage with Sheddick Transport, acquired by Norbert Dentressangle more than 11 years ago. The new purpose-built site on Corporation Road has 20,000ft2 of offices and workshops and is scheduled to
open in early September. It will be an authorised testing facility. The nearest Vosa test station is in Pontypool, says Sheddick, which was scheduled to close at the time of writing.
Van and car MoT tests will also be carried out, as well as tachograph calibration, and the workshop will service and repair air-conditioning systems. "We'll have all the facilities we have at the moment and more," he says. Commercial Motors (Wales) should sell approximately 50 new Isuzus this year, says Sheddick — it took the franchise in December 2011 — in a market that has yet to get to grips with the implications of Euro-6. "Operators appear to be ignoring it and hoping it will go away," he says. "The only people who are getting excited about Euro-6 are the manufacturers," he adds, "nobody else seems to be." A successful business
Most Isuzu buyers tend to be small to medium-sized businesses, although the dealership has enjoyed some success with local councils.
The MAN service customers tend to be small to medium-sized operators too. With not many major fleets in Newport, it will be interesting to see which firms choose to have their maintenance needs handled by dealers at a time when trucks are increasingly complicated, and need more investment in diagnostics equipment and technician training.
The MAN service customers tend to be small to medium-sized operators too. With not many major fleets in Newport, it will be interesting to see which firms choose to have their maintenance needs handled by dealers at a time when trucks are increasingly complicated, and need more investment in diagnostics equipment and technician training. Sheddick is hoping to develop the used side of Sheddick is hoping to develop the used side of the firm's activities in the new premises. "It's got a good road frontage that will be useful for displaying vehicles,"
he observes. The business will continue with its Rover parts business, although he acknowledges it's a diminishing market. "It's still worth doing — it's surprising how many Rovers are still around — although sales volumes are gradually diminishing year-on-year and body panels are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain," he says. •