GAP Vehicle Hire has announced ambitious plans to more than triple the size of its fleet – with support from Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The Glasgow-based company currently runs a fleet of 3,000 vehicles, which is to be increased to 10,000 over the next three years as it opens a series of new, ‘supersite’ depots across the UK.
As GAP’s preferred supplier for vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes gvw, Mercedes-Benz Vans is in line to pick up the lion’s share of these orders. As well as supplying vehicles from across its award-winning range, the manufacturer is helping its customer to grow, by delivering detailed product training to senior members of the GAP sales force.
Operations Director Jim Forrester and five members of his management team have just spent a day at the Broxburn headquarters of Dealer Western Commercial, which supplies many of the company’s vans. Not only did trainers from Mercedes-Benz Vans give the GAP representatives a thorough grounding in the attributes and abilities of Sprinter, Vito and Citan models, but they also provided a comprehensive overview of the wide range of support services available.
“This is an excellent example of the mutual benefits both parties are deriving from the close partnership we’ve forged,” affirmed Mr Forrester. “Our own reputation has been built on exacting standards of customer care, while Mercedes-Benz products lead the field in terms of reliability, economy, safety and driver appeal, and its Dealers provide excellent support. By gaining a deeper understanding of the key benefits of these vehicles, and the back-up network behind them, we’ll be able to enhance the service we offer even further.”
Also attending was Mark Graham, GAP Vehicle Hire’s Head of UK Operations. He said: “The Mercedes-Benz trainers provided a lot of important information which will be very useful, not only day to day but in the longer term, as we grow our business. Western Commercial’s hospitality was much appreciated too.”
GAP Vehicle Hire is part of the GAP Group, which also includes divisions that specialise in the rental of plant, tools, access, lifting and safety equipment, and welfare and event services. Many customers, especially those operating in the construction and utility sectors, rely on the company as a ‘one-stop shop’.
“These are industries in which GAP has excellent customer relationships, and Mercedes-Benz Vans has potential for growth, so there are significant expansion opportunities for both our businesses,” continued Mr Graham.
Regional Sales Manager Gavin Easby added: “The Mercedes-Benz presentations were extremely interesting and well delivered. The trainers had a fantastic knowledge of the products, and of the wider commercial vehicle industry, which really added to the experience.”
Also attending the Mercedes-Benz training day were Commercial Manager Marie Murtagh, Regional Sales Manager Chris Davies, and Group Transport Manager David Rodger.
The GAP Group is a family-owned business with a 60-year history. In 2014 GAP acquired CVR (Commercial Vehicle Rental) from owner Jim Forrester, but retained him with a brief to grow its new vehicle hire division nationally.
Led by Mr Forrester and his senior management team – who boast a combined 180 years’ experience in the rental sector – the business broke even in its first year, then posted profits of £500,000 and £1.1 million in years two and three respectively. GAP Vehicle Hire’s senior sales team members around the UK include Tony Antoniou, Regional Sales Manager for the South, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the field and previously owned his own rental business; Chris Davies, Regional Manager for the North-West, who has worked in the industry for more than 25 years; and Gavin Easby, Regional Manager for the North-East, whose track record in vehicle hire stretches back over 22 years.
Focusing on larger fleets and long-term contracts, GAP offers what it believes to be the UK’s most modern range of vehicles for hire, and a host of customisation options – including liveries, roof racks, internal racking and tow bars – that mean they can be tailored to meet end users’ precise specifications. The company’s fully inclusive packages, allied to its reliable and fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz vehicles, ensure optimum value for its customers’ money.