Page 28 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - November 2018
P. 28

PEOPLE
PEOPLE
T hree months after being appointed managing
director at A&R Vehicle Services, Gary Lay is more convinced than
ever that there is huge potential for growth at the Darlaston, West Midlands- based operation. It specialises in repair and refurbishment of trucks, trailers, buses and light commercial vehicles,
and already has some of the UK biggest  eet operators among its customers. “We’ll certainly be marketing ourselves more aggressively than we have in the past because I’m convinced that there
is signi cant potential for growth at a company which has been something of
a sleeping giant,” he says. “Not only will we be working to attract orders from operators with which we’ve never worked before but we’ll also be endeavouring
to win new and extended business from established customers.”
A&R was acquired  ve years ago
by Bevan Group, a fast-growing truck bodybuilder based in Halesowen, West Midlands. George Simpson, a former Christian Salvesen UK  eet engineering manager and former Stiller Tankers managing director, was A&R managing director at the time. He remained in
that post following the Bevan takeover but left in March 2017 to run Weekend Wheels, a Northampton-based driving school. Since then, Bevan Group managing director Anthony Bevan has taken direct charge of managing A&R and its 58 employees. “A&R was crying out for the right leadership and we were keen to attract a strategically-focused industry professional who could see the tremendous potential of this business and has the enthusiasm and skill-set to make the most of it,” says Mr Bevan. “Having been a supplier to Gary for a number
of years, I had no doubt that he was the right man for the job.”
Gary Lay
For nearly seven years before joining A&R, Mr Lay had worked for the Northampton-based DX group, a big logistics group specialising in parcels, courier services and secure freight.
He was initially DX (Group) support services director, then managing director. Mr Lay’s 40-year career in road transport began as a truck technician apprenticeship. Companies he then worked for in increasingly senior
roles before joining DX include Swift Transport Services, Tibbett & Britten, NYK Logistics and Yaxley Coachworks of Peterborough.
“Fundamentally, A&R is a great business,” he says. “We have the backing of a  nancially strong and supportive parent in Bevan Group, and we’re ideally
located at the heart of the country, close
to motorway links. We also have some fantastic facilities, with scope to expand when we need to. Most importantly though, I’ve inherited a very loyal, experienced and highly skilled team. All they’ve been lacking is the right direction and motivation, which is where I come in.”
The 2.4-hectare (six-acre) A&R site at Darlaston includes 3,700 square metres (40,000 sq ft) of workshop space housing chassis-straightening equipment, paint preparation booths, and three low-bake paint ovens.
Ron Rushworth and his brother Trevor jointly founded the business in 1989. Trevor Rushworth retired as A&R chairman in 2017. Ron Rushworth remains a director.
28 NOVEMBER 2018 > COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ENGINEER


































































































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