T.O.M. expands into England and reveals £8 million fleet renewal

Date Published: 29/01/2013

Scottish headquartered T.O.M. Vehicle Rental is expanding its rental operations with a move into the north-west of England after acquiring a site in Manchester.

 The Airdrie-based company announced it had opened its first depot south of the border at Trafford Park, Manchester. The 1.5 acre Manchester site will be stocked with new vehicles worth in excess of £1million and will create 10 new jobs, a figure which is expected to increase.  

 T.O.M. director James Rafferty said: “This is an exciting time for the company and we see massive potential to compete for more business in England by offering the same high level of service that our reputation is built upon and which companies dealing with us in Scotland have come to expect.

 “The Manchester site represents an excellent start point for this goal and we are already in advanced talks to supply a total of 350 vehicles to a number of prominent operators in the North West region”

 The expansion follows T.O.M.’s acquisition of two Mercedes Benz Truck and Van franchises last year. Mr Rafferty confirmed that the company was pleased with the progress made at these dealerships since they were added to the T.O.M. group.

 T.O.M. is already Scotland’s leading vehicle rental company with around 350 staff, a fleet of 6000 vehicles and sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr, Aberdeen and Inverness. The Manchester depot is part of a longer-term plan for further expansion in England.

 Mr Rafferty said: “T.O.M. is already a national provider of vehicle rental and fleet management. Increasing the spread of our own depots will deliver greater efficiencies and economic benefit to our customers and our own business and with this in mind, we are hopeful of adding sites in the Birmingham and London areas within the next two years.

 T.O.M. also confirmed an £8 million programme to renew the company’s current fleet was underway.

 He said: “We see ourselves as being Scotland’s premier vehicle rental company and we want to build on that reputation. Our challenge is to keep the fleet as fresh and young as possible and the renewal programme will see a number of older vehicles being replaced with brand new ones.”

 As well as creating new jobs, extending the company’s reach south of the border will also help secure the future for T.O.M.’s current workforce, including 75 apprentices.

 In an innovative move for the industry the apprentices, who are training as light and heavy goods vehicle mechanics, painters and panel beaters, are now being rotated around the company’s depots throughout Scotland.

 Mr Rafferty said that in locations such as Aberdeen there was strong competition from the oil and gas industry in the recruitment of skilled people and sending apprentices from the company’s other centres not only helped overcome any shortfall but also helped the apprentices broaden their experience and make their training a more rounded experience. The company expects to bolster this talent bank further by recruiting a new intake of apprentices in the summer.

 T.O.M.s latest venture in Manchester caps a financial year in which the company acquired John R Weir’s commercial vehicle business from Arnold Clark Automobiles in a £3m deal, opened two new sites, Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Aberdeen and Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Inverness, and created TOMbuyanyvan for customers looking to cash in on unwanted vehicles.

 The projects fulfilled expectations in the company’s 2012 annual report which anticipated growth, despite difficult economic conditions.

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