Mercedes-Benz Trucks authorised repairer AGS opens 2-acre Heathrow Airport site
Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ new authorised repairer Automania Garage Services (AGS), opened its flagship site at Heathrow Airport this week.
The 2-acre site, which includes a 64,000sq ft workshop, is the product of a £6m investment. There are 39 bays of varying lengths, 17 of which have commercial vehicle pits, and two dedicated Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) lanes. The company anticipates that 50% of its work will come from within the airport, and the other 50% will be from local operators. Roughly 65% of the vehicles on its books are Mercedes-Benz.
The site has been future-proofed, with seven electric vehicle chargers, and has its own substation. Joint MD Paul Mcgerty explained that this is in anticipation of an expected growth in zero-emission ground support vehicles. Heathrow is working towards operating a zero-carbon airport infrastructure by the mid 2030s
Mcgerty dismissed the suggestion that a growth in electric vehicles will have a negative effect on workflow for service providers. “Zero-emission vehicles won’t take work away from us, they’ll just change the way that we work,” he said.
But what does concern Mcgerty is the government’s current foreign travel quarantine policy. He said: “What we need is consistency, as people don’t know where we are at the moment. If it’s not safe to fly, then don’t fly. But they can’t just open and close routes. It’s not good for local businesses.”
Outgoing Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK MD Mike Belk, who was joined at the event by his successor Wolfgang Theissen, said: “This is such an interesting business, because at the heart of it is the service operation. They have the airside exposure at Heathrow, which obviously means they understand what it is to keep vehicles on the road, as uptime is everything on the airfield. That should hold is in very good stead to expand this experience out to a broader customer base than just the traditional focus they have on the airport.”
When asked whether AGS is likely to become a Mercedes-Benz sales outlet in the future, Belk said: “Service sells. I’m sure that will provide a foundation, and who knows what will happen? If an opportunity comes up in the future, they are clearly in a good position to discuss that.”
• Earlier this month Rygor Commercials also opened a new 30,000sq ft truck site next to Heathrow Airport.
CM Show 2020: Join Mercedes-Benz in the virtual world
Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK is showcasing its market-leading products and services at the Commercial Motor Show 2020.
The jewel in the crown for Mercedes-Benz Trucks is the new Actros. Show attendees can find out why the truck was crowned International Truck of the Year 2020, and learn about its pioneering innovations, including MirrorCam, Multimedia Cockpit, Enhanced Predictive Powertrain Control, Active Brake Assist 5 and Active Drive Assist.
These features increase driver comfort, business efficiency and safety, all of which will be in the spotlight at the show. Both the new Actros and the new Arocs are capable of obtaining four-star ratings under the Direct Vision Standard, subject to specification, and this will be highlighted at the show.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz Econic has also been awarded a five-star rating by Transport for London, meaning no additional equipment is required to obtain a 10 year HGV Safety Permit.
eMobility is set to be a hot topic at the show, and Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK’s parent – Daimler Trucks – leads the way in this area. It was the first manufacturer to offer a series-production all-electric 7.5-tonner – the FUSO eCanter, which has been in operation by several UK customerssince 2018. Furthermore, the Mercedes-Benz eActros and eEconic are on the way – Mercedes-Benz Trucks will be detailing its electric truck plans at the show.
The manufacturer is committed to keeping businesses connected and moving, so experts from its Connectivity and Customer Service teams will be on hand to discuss Fleetboard, Mercedes-Benz Uptime, the Truck App Portal and Authorised Repairer network. A Tech Talk at the show will give insight into an innovative partnership with Continental, while there will also be a competition running to win a driving experience at Mercedes-Benz World.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK head of product and marketing Ross Paterson said: “We’re delighted to be exhibiting at this brand-new event for the commercial road transport industry. This innovative new platform fits perfectly with our market-leading products and technologically advanced services, and we hope to speak to plenty of attendees over the course of the three days.”