Steve Bridge calls time at Mercedes-Benz as eStar ‘gets its man’
Steve Bridge calls time at Mercedes-Benz as new Dealer eStar Truck & Van ‘gets its man’
One of the UK commercial vehicle industry’s most influential figures is leaving his leadership role with Mercedes-Benz to take on the top job at its newest Dealer group.
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Managing Director Steve Bridge joins eStar Truck & Van on 1 February 2021. The move represents an exciting new career challenge for Steve, who was recognised for his contribution to the transport sector with an Outstanding Achievement accolade at the 2019 Commercial Fleet Awards.
As the Managing Director of eStar Truck & Van, Steve will work closely with high-profile transport industry entrepreneur Sid Sadique, who launched his latest venture in September. eStar Truck & Van represents the three-pointed star in the North West and North Wales from headquarters in Warrington and other branches on Deeside, and in Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent.
Steve Bridge, who grew up in the North West and still lives in the region, began his commercial vehicle career in 1983 at a heavy truck dealership. He moved into heavy commercial truck rental prior to joining Mercedes-Benz as a Regional Fleet Manager 20 years ago. A couple of promotions followed before 2014, when, following the formal separation by the manufacturer of its heavy and light commercial vehicle operations, Steve became the first Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK.
It is a position in which he has served with distinction, increasing Mercedes-Benz Vans UK’s sales volume from 25,000 vehicles a year to a peak of 44,000 units in 2019; introducing new models including the ground-breaking, zero-emission eVito and eSprinter; and steering the business on its transformational road from vehicle manufacturer to provider of holistic transportation and mobility solutions designed to keep businesses moving.
“I’m passionate about the Mercedes-Benz brand and delighted that although I’m leaving the company with which I’ve spent the last two very happy decades, in my new position I’ll still be representing the world’s number one truck and van business,” he said. “The opportunity to oversee eStar Truck & Van during a period of exciting evolution is one I’m relishing, and which I simply couldn’t resist.”
Steve takes up his latest role at a time of unprecedented change for the road transport industry. “The pandemic has proved how much we all rely on the truck and van communities to keeping the country moving,” he explained. “Many businesses have quickly adapted their offerings to provide online solutions for customers, or introduced new delivery services to ensure that their products can still reach consumers.”
eStar Truck & Van is committed to the development of online sales channels, in recognition of the increasing popularity of new methods of vehicle acquisition. Reflecting the changing landscape of the industry, it has also announced plans to establish an eEducation centre that will showcase the fully electric range of Mercedes-Benz vans and FUSO eCanter trucks, alongside zero-emission products based on low-entry Mercedes-Benz Econic chassis and built by Electra Commercial Vehicles, another of Sid Sadique’s businesses.
Steve continued: “Electrification and digitalisation will both be hugely significant for the UK commercial vehicle market going forward, so the fact that we’ll be able to bring them to life quickly, and in an easy-to-understand format, will allow us to provide customers with all-encompassing solutions.”
Sid Sadique has a long-established relationship with Mercedes-Benz. In addition to Electra Commercial Vehicles his portfolio includes the NRG Fleet Services Group, which includes businesses such as Riverside Truck Rental that supply and operate trucks and vans bearing the three-pointed star. Sid is also Chairman and shareholder of Kent-based Mercedes-Benz Dealer Sparshatt Truck & Van.
“I’ve known Steve for many years and am delighted to welcome him to my executive team as Managing Director of eStar Truck & Van,” said Sid. “Between us we have spent almost two-thirds of a century serving commercial vehicle operators. Not only do we understand the market, but we’re also perfectly placed to meet the changing demands of our customers.”