Derek Mayor could tell you a tale or two about Leyland Bus and a lot more besides about the industry, with his experiences and expertise being invaluable to Volvo Bus over the years in his role as Volvo Bus Service Manager.
He retires after handing over to Ian Wallace back in April. Always in the automotive business, Derek completed his apprenticeship with a Preston-based garage, close to his home in Longton, before joining Atkinson Vehicles as a Quality Inspector. But it was when he moved to Seddon Atkinson as a Field Service Engineer that his association with buses began with the Seddon Pennine. On moving to Leyland Bus in 1968 he was appointed New Product Field Manager and as a result his contact with bus operators throughout the country spiralled. Through the mid 70s there was a break when he became Rail Service Field Manager with the arrival of the Leyland Railcar Project. Initially responsible for the UK then Europe he subsequently looked after the Hong Kong and Singapore markets and there was even a brief excursion into the US and Canada.
But then it was back to the bus market with a vengeance with a series of new vehicles launches starting with the Leyland Titan double decker in 1977 and the Tiger in 1981. “It was a tremendous launch event that took place over in Gibraltar and following on from that our service team had a lot of liaison work with operators throughout the UK, particularly London Transport and West Midlands,” said Derek.
Then in March 1988 Volvo bought Leyland Bus. In the re-organisation that followed Derek was appointed House Account Manager making him the liaison between Volvo Sweden and VL Bus & Coach (UK) Ltd. Later he took on the role of Volvo Bus Service Manager and on the establishment of Volvo’s UK headquarters in Warwick in 2001was instrumental in the establishment of bus specialists within the Volvo dealer network.
“In 2000 we held the Volvo Bus Challenge an open forum with our customers designed to gain feedback to establish a benchmark and to move the business forward. It was both new and ground breaking initiative and helped us establish the Volvo brand and build on its success majoring on what our customers wanted,” explained Derek.
“That established the difference in dealing with Volvo allowing us to focus on the things that really mattered to our customers. We received a tremendous amount of feedback and it set out our progress for the coming years. Since then we have moved forward leaps and bounds something that we have continued year on year.”
Derek established the Volvo Customer Support and Front Line Support and the Dealer Bus & Coach Business Managers in all the Volvo Dealers Service outlets. He has chaired a number of projects associated with the launch of new products to complement the Volvo Bus range ensuring their successful introductions coupled with thorough liaison with customers, the manufacturing plant and service backup.
Throughout his working life his interest in mechanics continued particularly through his hobby and passion for restoration of classic cars. “It started with an MGB, which along with my two sons we completely restored and showed in Concourse d’ Elegance competitions and were very successful. Then we moved on to Austin Healeys following a conversation with a friend who quipped, ‘You should try something more complicated’ which started with the Austin Healey 3000.”
In total Derek and his sons have won over 150 Concourse Prizes and he recently stepped down from competing and judging events. Back in 2010 Derek with colleague Barry Mace, did a Classic Road Tour around 14 Volvo Truck & Bus dealerships in 3 days in his Morgan sports car raising in excess of £10,000 for Volvo’s Teenage Cancer Trust Appeal. Earlier Derek took part in a similar event in aid of the Macmillan Charity when he drove a silver Morgan to the Houses of Parliament raising £30,000 and was met by two world champions Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart.
In his retirement, however, Derek doesn’t plan on the quiet life with his partner Pauline at their home in Longton, but more to embark on his hobby and passion for classic cars with a new business venture called DM Classic Cars restoring classic cars and supplying parts to enthusiasts.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Bus & Coach industry and the friendship of the people within Volvo UK and Sweden along with the customers is very special to me and something I will cherish. Now I am really looking forward to this new challenge,” added Derek.
30 January 2012
Caption for Image: (left to right) Ian Wallace presenting Derek Mayor with his retirement gift.
For further information, please contact:
Don Johnston, +44 (0) 1926 414553, firstname.lastname@example.org