Story: COLIN DAWSON
Truckman hardtops are particularly popular with commercial users of pick-up trucks in sectors such as agriculture, construction, emergency services and utilities. And demand is said to be growing also from SMEs and sole traders who are using the hardtops to increase kerb-appeal of their pick-up trucks as well as the versatility of the vehicles.
Now Auto Styling Truckman, which acquired the Truckman brand after it rescued the hardtop manufacturer from administration in 2008, is celebrating its 10th year in business by expanding its West Midlands operation.
The company, which employs 29 people and is one of the UK’s leading distributors of accessories for SUVs and 4×4 vehicles, is set to add a further 15,000 square feet adjacent to its existing facility to expand its manufacturing operations and provide additional stock holding provision for its range of vehicle accessories.
This latest expansion follows increased demand for its range of hardtops for pick-up trucks, which it manufactures in the UK. Auto Styling Truckman, based in Brierley Hill, near Dudley, has enjoyed continued growth since it was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Mike Wheeler.
In 2011 the company achieved a turnover of £5 million and saw sales increase by 40 per cent on the previous year.
Mike Wheeler, Managing Director of Auto Styling Truckman, told Business Vans: “We are delighted to have reached our 10th anniversary. Any business that achieves this kind of milestone can be proud of its achievements, especially considering the wider economic challenges facing the country. However, we have continued to grow year-on-year and maintained an excellent position in our marketplace.
“I am particularly proud to have built upon the great Truckman name and its excellent heritage to not only continue the brand’s legacy, but ensure they continue to be manufactured in the UK. This had led to the company expanding further through the requirement of additional manufacturing and storage space to meet the demand of company van users for our range of products.”
The addition of a Truckman hardtop can aid business van security by creating a secure storage area, and can also provide a multi-purpose working area for technicians operating in tough off-road environments.