Keltruck celebrated four decades as a Scania Distributor with a special celebration at head office in West Bromwich today, Thursday 31 August.
The company was visited by Mats Gunnarsson, Executive Vice President, Head of Commercial Operations at Scania CV AB, James Armstrong, Executive Regional Director for Scania Europe North, Chris Newitt, M.D., and James Colbourne, services director of Scania Great Britain. Christian Levin, CEO of Scania AB and TRATON AB, wanted to be with us to celebrate 40 years of Scania’s largest independently owned dealership globally but unfortunately was unable to attend due to a Volkswagen group executive meeting today, sending a video message instead.
Christian Levin said:
Hi everyone, this is Christian Levin, CEO of Scania, calling you directly from our head offices in Södertälje, Sweden. I would have loved to be with you at this celebration today, but our main owner Volkswagen called and there was not much of a choice but as I still wanted to pay my respect to Chris [Kelly] and the entire Keltruck team, you get my digital me instead, so kind of a second best.
Keltruck today is an absolutely integral part of Scania’s successful growth journey in the UK throughout the last decades and not only have you, especially through the services side, have been part of our growth journey, I think you’re up to an impressive 18 outlets now throughout the entire Midlands [and South Wales], but also have been an integral and important part of developing new business concepts and new services concepts such as the rental concept, that is something that is today an absolutely super important part of our offering, not only in the UK but throughout the entire Scania world, I would say.
You’ve also understood the importance of branding and understood and realised that the Scania brand gets stronger in the future by benefiting from the past and your collection of your Keltruck [Scania] classics, I have admired many of them on the web, is such a great example of how you build a strong future based on your very strong past.
As much as we celebrate Keltruck today, we should also celebrate an absolutely outstanding career, the career of Chris himself, how he in early years joined the industry and eventually got the chance to become a Scania dealer and over the last 40 years has built up an organisation with today more than 400 employees, £200m in turnover and an amazing customer satisfaction market share and overall successful operation in the Midlands.
So, to Chris, and to your entire team today, congratulations on your anniversary; we would not be the Scania we are in the UK without you, and for that I really want to thank you. Bye.
Welcoming the guests, chairman Chris D. Kelly said:
My name is Chris D. Kelly and I’m Keltruck Scania’s chairman. I’d like to warmly welcome you and a say a very big thank you for making the time to travel, in some cases, considerable distances and for taking the time out of busy executive schedules to come and celebrate our special anniversary with us.
Thank you to Mats Gunnarsson, Executive Vice President, Head of Commercial Operations at Scania CV AB, and James Armstrong, M.D. of Scania in Northern Europe and Chris Newitt, M.D. of Scania Great Britain, for being here with us today. Christian Levin, CEO of Scania AB and TRATON AB, wanted to be with us but unfortunately was unable to be here due to a Volkswagen group executive meeting today.
The relationship between Keltruck and Scania, our manufacturer, is now forty years young and has been, is and will continue to be extremely warm, close & co-operative.
We’re here today to celebrate the milestone of 40 years of Keltruck, founded by my father Chris Kelly in April 1983. He is a truly remarkable man with great vision and extremely high standards, so the match with Scania was a natural one. My father has not only founded Keltruck in his business career but also founded or owned and/or sold many other businesses, including some that he is active in today in commercial property, manufacturing & engineering and aviation.
As well as my father I want to mention two people who have contributed a huge amount to Keltruck being the successful business it is today. Mike Kelly, Chris’s first cousin, was with us for 38 years and retired as fleet sales director and Alec Kokinis, my mother’s brother, who has been our company secretary since foundation. Give us a wave, gentlemen!
Thank you also to the shareholding executive directors today – Tracey Joynes, David Morgan and Russ Warner and our management team. You’re all truly first class and the best in the business.
Thank you to our customers here today and all of our customers over the last 40 years. We wouldn’t be what we are today without you. We deal with so many absolutely lovely people.
Thank you to all 430 of our staff today and everyone who has worked for us previously and thank you finally, to all of our suppliers, principally SGB.
With that I’d like to hand over to Mats to say a few words.
Mats Gunnarsson confirmed that “Keltruck is today the largest non-captive dealership in the Scania worldwide network” whilst James Armstrong raised a toast to the continued success of the Keltruck & Scania partnership and Chris Newitt presented a plaque celebrating 40 successful years.
Commenting on the milestone founder Chris Kelly said:
I’d just like to say thank you for the business over the years – but most of all thanks for the memories. It has been a challenge at times, but great fun, too.
Aftersales Director Russ Warner commented:
I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to work for – and progress through the ranks at – Keltruck. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support from Chris Kelly. Having worked with Chris for many years, there is one piece of advice that he has given and we have always taken onboard, and this is ‘it’s all about people’.
There are so many nice people that we deal with, be that staff or customers. This really is a great industry to be a part of.
Finance Director Tracey Joynes commented:
Having worked at other businesses before starting at Keltruck, I can honestly say it is very clear that this is a company that not only cares about its people, but also our local communities.
We like to give back when we can, and for this we can proudly say we have supported many charities over the years. Most recently we have reached out to our staff to find the charities close to their hearts and have supported their local fundraising.
Sales Director David Morgan commented:
We deal with some great people within the industry and I am personally proud to see our vehicles, new and old, travelling around the UK.
We know the future holds some new and exciting challenges for us and as a Scania dealer we are helping drive the shift towards sustainable transport systems, creating a world of mobility that is better for business, society and the environment.
Chris D. Kelly concluded:
For more than 40 years Keltruck has been providing operators with reliable and robust Scania transport solutions along with exceptional aftersales support, enabling them to maximise profitability by operating at the lowest possible cost with the maximum possible uptime. We are extremely proud of our role in supporting all of our customers in delivering significant levels of economic activity and employment over the past four decades, along with providing rewarding employment – to the benefit of wider society – for many hundreds of individuals and families within our own organisation.
One of our driving motivations has always been ‘Profit with a purpose’ and, as Tracey says, we are extremely proud of our 40 year history of supporting charities and good causes as well.
We are also very proud of our pioneering role as the UK’s original Scania vehicle recyclers, promoting sustainability in transportation for more than 40 years.
In our 40th year we continue to invest in our people, locations and equipment across the Midlands and South Wales, such as refreshing our in-house Scania shunter fleet and refurbishing our forklift truck fleet.
This year we have also been proud to distil our core values into four key principles: Care; Integrity; Professionalism and Dependability. We will continue to seek to implement CIPD in all that we do.
CHRIS D. KELLY
Visit keltruck.com/40 for more. (Our 30th anniversary microsite is also still available at keltruck.com/30).
In another anniversary this website went live more than twenty five years ago in 1997 (before even google.com in late 1998!), making Keltruck one of the first truck dealers to go online.