Western Commercial will no longer sell HGVs from December 2021

Scottish Mercedes-Benz Trucks dealership Western Commercial will no longer sell HGVs from December due to the investment needed to continue the service, writes Chris Tindall.

In a letter to customers, the company – which has sites in Bellshill, Glasgow, Broxburn and Dundee – said it was no longer sustainable to keep the truck business going.

The letter said: “We have reached a stage where for us to take the business further, meet your expectations, satisfy the requirements of the manufacturer and fully engage with the incoming generation of e-trucks, we would be required to make substantial investments in all key areas; staff, vehicles, facilities, training etc.

“Having reviewed these requirements at length, we had to accept that the investments required are not sustainable and we have therefore given notice to Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Ltd.

“Our truck sales franchise agreement will end on 6th December 2021.”

Western Commercial stressed that it would continue after this date with its truck aftersales operations across all its sites and it added: “For those customers with vehicles on-order with us, we will have contacted you direct already to discuss any impact this news may have on your order.

“In the vast majority of cases we will be able to fulfil the orders as planned.”

A Mercedes-Benz Trucks spokesman said: “Western Commercial will continue selling and servicing Mercedes-Benz Trucks until December 2021.

“Thereafter, it will operate the aftersales franchise, servicing trucks and supporting our customers.

“Discussions are ongoing about our network representation, and future developments will be announced in due course, as our partnership to our customers in Scotland remains our top priority.”

Western Commercial did not respond.

Free Freight in the City webinar: hydrogen for urban delivery trucks

Freight in the City’s next webinar, taking place on 14 July, will explore the potential of hydrogen range-extenders to significantly boost the range of an electric delivery vehicle.

Increasing vehicle range and lengthening the time needed before recharging can make the business case and practicality of EVs far more compelling for fleet managers.

“Hydrogen may not make sense as a primary transport fuel, but as a range-extender technology, it is what can truly set the battery vehicle free,” said David Thackray, director at Tevva Electric Trucks.

Essex-based manufacturer Tevva builds medium-duty range-extended electric trucks from 7.5-tonne GVW, which are designed to replace traditional diesel counterparts on a like-for-like basis.

The use of hydrogen to power the Tevva ReX range-extender can be simple and cost-effective for operators, added Thackray, with the benefit of a fully zero-tailpipe-emission truck for use in urban areas.

“Using only small amounts  of hydrogen on an as-needed basis, keeps costs low, ensures the supply of green hydrogen is adequate and ensures only modest stores are needed at depot,” said Thackray. “This massively reduces the challenge and complexity around hydrogen storage.”

He added: “As a ReX fuel for back-to-base trucks, there is no need for a large ‘on-highway’ infrastructure. It can be bunkered at depot like any other fuel.”

Freight in the City’s webinar will also enable you to hear from the Department for Transport about how the government is supporting the UK’s rollout of hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure.

In addition, it will feature one of the world’s leading logistics experts on the challenges of decarbonising city deliveries.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics at Kuehne Logistics University
  • Bob Moran, Deputy Director, Head of Environment Strategy at Department for Transport
  • David Thackray, Director, Tevva Electric Trucks

Freight in the City’s ‘Hydrogen for Urban Distribution Vehicles’ webinar will be an insightful session for all operators wanting to learn more about the latest technology available for urban fleets.

It takes place at 2pm on Wednesday 14 July. Register for your free place today.