Perry Reeves, new dealer principal at Rossetts

Laurie Dealer, in a nod to his youth, raises a glass to the new dealer principal of Merc-dealer Rossetts Commercials, because Perry Reeves knows one end of a monkey wrench from the other.

Traditionally, the role of dealer principal is offered to those with sales and financial backgrounds. This means they tend to run tight, risk adverse ships, while those at the nuts and bolts end get overlooked and based on Laurie Dealer's experience undervalued.

Elevated from group aftersales director to replace the outgoing DP/co-founder Robert Maxwell, Reeves understands the unusual promotion from the blue collar ranks. "It's not often that someone who's worked 'at the coalface', as I have done, makes it to DP, and I'm determined to make a success of my new role."

He began on the spanners in 1979, as a 15-year-old apprentice technician at a Leyland and Scammell dealer in Brighton, working to workshop foreman before moving to Brighton Transport, and the world of buses. In 1998 he joined Rossetts as general manager in Eastbourne before becoming aftersales director.

Remit? Well first up is to make sure staff involvement is increased. "Our employees are our biggest asset and I want them to feel motivated and valued. So we're setting up 'care action' teams that will comprise delegates from all parts of the business, and give staff a genuine voice in how the company is run."

Good luck, lad.

Jobs a good un.

Truck registrations surge in January

Truck registrations continued their rebound in January: up 77.8% on January 2010's all-time low and down just 17.4% on January 2009's total.

According to data from the SMMT, 2,136 medium and heavy trucks over 6 tonnes were registered in January 2011, nearly double the volume of a year ago (1,201) and not far off the figure from two years ago (2,586).

The truck market was spurred on by a six-fold increase in registrations of two-axle tractors and a doubling of three-axle tractors.

Over 6 tonnes, Mercedes-Benz had the biggest share, ahead of DAF, Volvo, MAN, Scania, Renault and Iveco.

Van registrations were up 48.5% compared with January 2010 to 17,154; this figure also represents a 46% improvement on January 2009, and is just 22.5% down on January 2008's record high.

"Strong growth continues for van and truck registrations, although uncertainty remains over the year ahead," says Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. "The rise in the van and truck markets is a good start to the year, but next month's Budget could prove crucial if freight operators' concerns over fuel duty and access to credit for business investment are not addressed."