Motoring

Published: December 21, 2021 | Updated: December 22, 2021

Thirty jobs likely to be created at van centre as famous three-pointed star rises again in Poole

Charlie Charman, Sandown’s Head of Aftersales: “There was huge demand for a Mercedes-Benz aftersales provider in Poole.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An impressive new facility dedicated to the maintenance and repair of vans from the Mercedes-Benz range is expected to ultimately create 30 jobs.

Sandown Van Centre, in Vantage Way, Mannings Heath, Poole, has marked its first two months after officially opening its doors in October.

The centre is a first venture into the light commercial vehicle arena by the Sandown Group.

The group has been serving Mercedes-Benz passenger car customers for more than 40 years.

Today it has nine retail outlets across Dorset, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.

Gavin McAllister, Managing Director, said: “Our new van centre demonstrates Sandown’s sincere commitment to growth and investment in the powerful Mercedes-Benz brands.

“This is an exciting opportunity and we are determined to exceed the expectations of the customers we are privileged to be serving.”

Developed on a site used previously by a luxury yacht business, the 12,000 sq ft building has been finished and comprehensively equipped to a level that exceeds even Mercedes-Benz Vans’ standards.

At its heart is a state-of-the-art workshop with six ramps and space for another couple, should they be required.

There is an alignment bay for specialist work on suspension geometry and an MoT lane where tests on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Vito and Citan models in the Class 4 and 7 categories are undertaken.

With battery-powered eSprinter and eVito variants already proving popular, and the new eCitan due to reach the UK next year, Sandown has addressed the inevitable growth in demand for zero-emissions transportation.

As a Mercedes-Benz Electric Van (EV) Centre, the Poole facility is equipped with four AC charging stations, while pre-wiring has been installed for another three, one of which will be a rapid DC point.

As their vehicles are being worked on, customers can relax in a comfortable and contemporary reception area, complete with wi-fi access, LED screens, and ‘bean-to-cup’ coffee and other refreshments.

For those who are unable to wait, or even to get to the site, the Sandown team also offers Drop & Go and Collection & Delivery services.

Mercedes-Benz Vans’ decision to appoint Sandown Group as its latest Authorised Repairer follows the closure by another franchisee of its own premises in Poole and, instead, focus on a new dealership in Southampton.

The Sandown Van Centre is now serving an area that extends northwards to Amesbury, and as far as Yeovil in the west and Southampton in the east.

Sandown has already recruited half a dozen technicians and its van workshop is open from 8am until 6.30pm on weekdays, and until 1pm Saturdays.

However, the company plans at the earliest opportunity to extend hours of operation into the evenings by introducing a split-shift system with up to 16 technicians.

Ultimately, the new centre could create up to 30 jobs.

Charlie Charman, Head of Aftersales at Sandown, said: “There was huge demand for a Mercedes-Benz aftersales provider in Poole.

“We were perfectly placed to deliver a convenient and high-quality service built on dedication and professionalism.

“The new team are relishing the opportunities they now have to welcome van customers to our exemplary facilities and treat them to experiences they might have expected to receive from a Mercedes-Benz passenger car retailer.”

Derek Clelland, Head of Network Operations at Mercedes-Benz Vans, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Sandown as our newest franchise partner.

“The Poole Van Centre has restored brand representation to an important area, and aligns perfectly with our Future Network Strategy, under which the Mercedes-Benz Vans business is adapting to meet the demands of an evolving market.

“Sandown’s investment in this outstanding facility underlines its long-term commitment to providing Mercedes-Benz van customers with the timely, efficient aftercare they are entitled to expect.”