An Oldbury manufacturer has quickly chalked up £2 million worth of sales for a new aerodynamic truck body which cuts down fuel bills.
Orders from Nightfreight and Argos have flocked in for Bevan Motor Bodies’ new product Bevan 21.
The aerodynamic eco body reduces weight, increases payload and cuts the carbon footprint of the vehicle and provides customers with a Millbrook-approved 15 per cent saving on fuel costs.
Operations director Lee Dimmock said: “We are always looking at developing new products to stay ahead of the market and the low carbon marketplace offers us an excellent opportunity to put our design and technical expertise to the fore.
“Working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service-West Midlands, our in-house team spent hundreds of hours developing the aerodynamic frame that gives the ‘Bevan 21’ such unique performance.”
He continued: “The response from our customers has been phenomenal, with the likes of Nightfreight placing orders and Argos requesting 100 vehicles.
“It’s win-win for them as they’re improving their green credentials whilst enjoying a positive impact on their bottom line.”
The company, which employs 160 people across its four sites in the Black Country, gave West Bromwich West MP Adrian Bailey, chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, a special demonstration of the Bevan 21.
He was joined on the tour by MAS-WM specialist manufacturing adviser Martin McKeever and spent time looking at the company’s facilities, including the fleet and volume manufacturing line and a new graphics division.
He was also given a detailed insight into the full Bevan range, which includes box bodies, curtainsiders and dropsides in sizes starting from 3.5 tonnes right through to 26 tonnes.
Mr Dimmock added: “Our order intake is now experiencing impressive increases in 2010, with the industry generally still recovering from the impact of a 65 per cent drop in sales through the leaner times last year.
“Employment has also increased and, with exciting plans for new model variations in the pipeline, we expect more jobs to be created shortly.”
Bevan Motor Bodies has been working closely with MAS-WM for a number of years on a series of business improvement processes and more recently on development of the Bevan 21.
The next project will involve re-designing the rear of the existing model and looking at ways in which the original concept can be transferred into an industry-first 3.5 tonne version.
Mr Bailey said Bevan was a good example of how manufacturing in the West Midlands is evolving.
He added: “It has tapped into the demand for low carbon transport and thanks to targeted business support from MAS is generating wealth and creating local jobs.”
Bevan is one of 3,000 companies in the West Midland to have tapped into MAS-WM support, which ranges from dedicated business reviews and process improvement consultancy to specialist assistance with sourcing, workforce development and launching new products.
The support body, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), also has a special focus on advanced manufacturing and low carbon as it aims to provide the region’s manufacturing base with the expertise to compete in the global marketplace.
Mr McKeever, specialist manufacturing adviser at MAS-WM, concluded: “Launching a new product into the marketplace takes massive investment and time so it is great to see the volume of orders being achieved by Bevan so far. It points to a very promising future for the business.”