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Transport: Meet the Expert

Chris Dawson recently joined our transport team as an Area Sales Manager. Here he shares his thoughts about his role; provides insight into how asset finance works and discusses the implications of introducing electric vehicles. 

Tell us about your work history… 

After leaving school, I won a five-year apprenticeship and became a fully qualified HGV Technician. I worked as an HGV mechanic for a few years before being offered a customer-facing role. Specialising in Volvo trucks, I worked in various customer-facing roles over the next decade before taking up my first sales role.

In 2017, I joined Close Brothers Vehicle Hire and became the HGV Sales Manager within just nine months. After around two and a half years, I felt I needed a new challenge and joined Close Brothers Asset Finance as an Area Sales Manager, where I help SMEs in the transport industry fund the assets they need to help their businesses grow. 

How does your experience as an HGV specialist help you in your current role as an Area Sales Manager? 

My experience of being a HGV mechanic and then working in the parts sector gave me a detailed understanding of the assets I now finance. Working with the customer, I can find both a vehicle and a funding solution that works for them, rather than a standard package that may not meet their requirements. My goal is to offer our customers a guided approach, ensuring they purchase an asset that is a sound investment and works for their business. 

What is asset finance?  

Asset finance is an alternative form of funding used by businesses to obtain the equipment, vehicles or capital they need to grow. Its flexibility means that it can be used to fund any asset, including trucks, trailers, LCVs, tippers, tankers and more.

What types of asset finance do you offer to your customers?  

I consider all aspects of a customer’s business and then recommend asset finance solutions that best suit their cash flow and long-term goals. Common examples of asset finance products we offer are: 

Hire Purchase: This allows the customer to buy a vehicle on credit. We purchase the vehicle on the customer’s behalf and own it until the final instalment is paid. 

Refinancing (Capital Release): We would purchase the asset from your business and finance it back to you, releasing the equity raised into your cash flow. 

Finance Lease: This lets you use the vehicles you need without having to buy them outright. 

Electric HGVs are currently entering the market - what are the benefits and risks for companies who are looking to invest in electrified fleets?  

The electric revolution is quickly reaching the haulage industry. This is still quite an immature market, which can bring risks around performance and longevity. That said, there are also many benefits to the introduction of electrified fleets, including reduced running costs, a reduction in congestion charges and avoiding the clean air zone charges being implemented in cities across the UK.