Truck dealerships to merge

TWO family-run truck dealerships have joined forces to create a larger regional business. Ipswich-based Chassis Cab, which sells DAF truck and LDV commercial vehicles in Suffolk and north Essex, has bought out Cambridgeshire-based Universal Garage of Isleham.

TWO family-run truck dealerships have joined forces to create a larger regional business.

Ipswich-based Chassis Cab, which sells DAF truck and LDV commercial vehicles in Suffolk and north Essex, has bought out Cambridgeshire-based Universal Garage of Isleham.

Universal's former managing director Rowland Wells, who started the business in Exning, near Newmarket, in 1972 with his wife and parents, said he was “absolutely delighted” about the sale.

“This is a very good move for both operations,” he said. “Universal Garage has always been a family-run business and it was very important to me that the tradition should continue.


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“I am pleased to say Robert Baxter and Sally Ruffles and their team at Chassis Cab have the same core business values as we do so it delights me that they will continue very much in the same vein.”

Mr Wells, who will remain with the company for at least the next three years, concentrating on expanding the business, added: “This is an exciting and rewarding industry to work in and the business has given me an enormous amount of pleasure over the years. However, I now feel it is time to allow someone else to move the company forward.”

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Robert Baxter, Chassis Cab dealer principal, said: “This move provides us with many trading advantages, the most important being that we are now represented in Cambridgeshire - the natural 'hub' of business in East Anglia. We have increased our geographical range which is the key to securing additional sales and servicing business.”

Chassis Cab, which started out as a commercial vehicle accident repair centre, has been the main DAF dealer for Suffolk and north Essex since the early 1990s and has grown to become a leading supplier of trucks in the region. The LDV dealership was introduced in 2001 to broaden the range of commercial vehicles on offer to businesses.

Universal was the oldest independent DAF service dealership in the UK after gaining the franchise 31 years ago. The newly-named Chassis Cab Trading As Universal Garage will continue operations at Hall Barn Road, Isleham, where Universal has been based since 1974.

The business, which has a 13-strong workforce, worked under Ben Cooper Ltd based at Claydon, near Ipswich, for nine years until Cooper's ceased trading in 1986. After that, it began working with a Cambridge-based DAF dealer until 2002-03 when it signed a contract directly with DAF Trucks.

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