to main page send e-mail Last Updated:  Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The independent voice of the global moving industry


UVB’s general manager warns of ‘Catch 22’ Euro VI upgrade

Mar 11, 2019
Van builder UVB’s General Manager Rob Hampson took over from predecessor Terry Sinnott just over a year ago. The Mover’s Editor Steve Jordan caught up with him at The Mover & Storers Show to find out how UVB has changed since he took the reins, and how Euro VI is affecting the market.

Terry Sinott (centre) with Mark Edwards, Works Manager (left) and Rob Hampton, General ManagerRob Hampson joined UVB in 2017 but is no stranger to the automotive industry having worked for some of the world’s top vehicle manufactures, including Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Renault and Toyota, during his thirty-year-plus career.

I started by asking Rob what he has brought to the business during his first year at the helm. “Man management and experience in running production facilities I think are the main things, we’re definitely a much slicker operation now than when I first joined,” said Rob.  “I also have a lot of contacts in the industry and that’s helped me source the best products for our vehicles at competitive prices.  We work in a very competitive industry, so delivering high-quality vehicles at a fair price is vital.  We’re not aiming to be the cheapest, anyone can do that, but I believe we deliver excellent value for money and I believe that’s what people really want.”

Although Terry Sinnott has now officially retired, he is still involved in the business on a consultancy basis, which Rob finds very useful.  “Terry has over forty years’ experience in the coach-building industry, so I often ask his advice on technical matters,” said Rob. “For example, if a customer asks for something unusual, Terry will know whether or not it’s possible to build it.  It’s very helpful to have someone with that level of experience to call upon when you need it.”

I asked Rob about how Brexit and the rollout of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) was affecting the truck market.  “People are unsure what to do, they know they need to replace their vehicles, but what with? Do they go for 18 tonne vans, road trains, or go smaller, it’s all very uncertain and I think people are just waiting to see what happens,” said Rob.  “One thing we are doing is looking at developing smaller vehicles and getting into the 3.5 tonne market with one and two container vehicles; that’s something we’ve never done before at UVB.  The market for 3.5 tonne vans has exploded during the past couple of years, partly because of CAZs but also because they’re cheaper to run.”

Rob is concerned that the delay in companies placing orders for larger Euro VI vehicles could cause a shortage of chassis when they finally decide to go ahead.  “I think manufacturers like DAF and Mercedes may not be able to supply the chassis we and other bodybuilders need in time to meet the demand for Euro VI trucks as CAZs roll out across the UK and Europe.  There may also be restrictions on imports as well which may cause additional delays, we just don’t know. Companies know they need to upgrade their fleets to Euro VI but are delaying confirming orders because of the uncertainty of Brexit and worries about the economy, but they risk not being able to get the vehicles they need in time to avoid the new CAZ charges.  It’s a sort of catch 22,” said Rob.

Despite the uncertainty in the market and the move to develop smaller vehicles to meet changing trends, UVB’s core business is set to remain in building high-quality removal vans.  “We can’t stand still and ignoring the expanding market for smaller vans would definitely be a mistake. However, we will not be turning away from the traditional vehicles we are well known for and 90% of our work will continue to be building the larger removals vehicles,” said Rob.

Photo: Terry Sinott (centre) with Mark Edwards, Works Manager (left) and Rob Hampton, General Manager

ISS Relocations: UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and India
     Click here to send us your stories
     20,615 page views April 2020
     List of advertisers
     Directory of suppliers
Grospiron International
  Maxi Mover - low floor Luton van sales
Cookies: This site uses non-invasive cookies to provide an enhanced visitor experience and to measure site performance.  By viewing this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies in this manner.  For further information on how cookies are used on this site, please see our privacy policy.
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use  All material © 2011 The Words Workshop Ltd.