Back in early 1997 John Major was still Conservative Prime Minister of the UK and Keltruck was striding into its 14th year of trading.
The company’s founder, Chris Kelly, was aware of the growing importance of a new phenomenon in commerce – the ‘world wide web’. E-mail and the internet was still in its infancy (the digital behemoth that is google.com was still 18 months away from being founded), with most websites being clunky and difficult to navigate. At the time Scania did not offer any dealer website solution and, indeed, the manufacturer’s scania.com website was only in its infancy.
Seeing the power of the internet to reach new markets for used Scania trucks and parts, particularly abroad, Chris asked his good friend John Goodwin of Goodwin plc to send the top man from his burgeoning IT business, Internet Central in Keele, to visit head office at West Bromwich to discuss a Keltruck Scania website.
keltruck.co.uk was registered on 19 March 1997 (keltruck.com was adopted later (in 2001)) and, over the next couple of years, more and more content was added to the original used Scania parts offering – used vehicle stock began to be added followed by aftersales information such as depot details and information about the West Bromwich bodyshop.
The launch of the website in 1997 made Keltruck the first commercial vehicle dealer in the UK to go online and, possibly, the first independent Scania dealer in the world to have a website – appropriate for what, within a few years, had become the largest privately owned Scania dealership in the world.
By the early noughties Scania had begun providing a dealer website solution and, in early 2004, the website switched over to this platform in a project led by son of our founder Chris D. Kelly (then marketing manager), where it remained and flourished for several years before switching to the globally popular WordPress platform.
Today there are hundreds of pages and the site receives thousands of visits per month. In recent years even more content has been included – such as the company’s social media channels – and website visits are driven by e-newsletter campaigns, making Keltruck one of the most sophisticated truck dealers of the online, digital era.
Keltruck Scania celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2023 – visit keltruckscania.com/40 for more on this milestone for the company.