Transit's 50th Birthday - update from James Davis
As I write this early Friday morning we are nearing the end of our first fundraising week and I am genuinely overwhelmed. I am staggered, but ultimately not surprised, by the momentum our Transit 50th birthday event is generating. Our people, our buyers and our vendors alike are all fully engaged and having FUN. That is surely what it should be all about. Social media has been red hot with blogs and Tweets – have you been keeping up with us @lovecommercials using the hashtag #Transit50?
We all know the Transit is an iconic brand. It’s the UK’s best selling new and used van. Each one we’ve sold has contributed just under £200,000 to the UK economy. This brand has made Britain great.
This week two other great brands have gathered around in support of our charity fundraiser.
Firstly, to celebrate their long-standing relationship with Manheim, Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicles has donated a 2010 Ford Transit 330 2.2 TDCI 115PS MWB Medium Roof Panel Van. It has optional air conditioning, a twelve month MOT and 86,000 miles on the clock. We’re auctioning it off Tuesday 11th August at Haydock with 100% of proceeds going into the charity pot.
Secondly, our long standing valeting contractor PJM Group. Not only have they fully prepared the charity fundraiser van for free they’ve additionally pledged £500 to the cause.
And let’s not forget our CV auction centres. Each General Manager has pledged on behalf of their teams to donate £10 for each Transit they sell in the fortnight. Ultimately Macmillan and Manheim Foundation will benefit equally from the funds raised.
We believe Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle’s charity Transit lot is worth at least £6000 and I ask all our buyers to dig deep and bid heartily on Tuesday, online and in the hall. The successful buyer will have it delivered free of charge by Manheim. The auction fees as well as the hammer price are all being donated to the charity pot. Awesome. I believe this is the first time in the UK van auction world such an act of generosity has been seen. Thank you to all who are involved.
So, back to this week’s action! We witnessed golden balloon arches and Sixties fancy dress in Leeds and Shotts. In Haydock The Beatles theme was clear to see with zebra crossing on the auction floor! The Great Manheim Bake Off was staged at Gloucester with Paul Hollywood’s part played ably by Julian from Van Monster #silverfox. At Mansfield we celebrated with party accessories and Transit cupcakes.
Our CV auction centres have not held back one bit. In fact next week more of the same is promised, with a film crew on hand at Colchester to capture their Sixties fancy dress theme and collection of classic Transits. “Summer of Love” will be in full swing at Gloucester whilst Haydock will be auctioning off their unique charity Transit lot to the highest bidder – dressed in Sixties attire (of course).
With Mansfield and Gloucester’s result this week still to be signed off I can confirm we’ve sold at least 210 Transits and raised a staggering £2500 including additional local donations.
Next week we really need your support to get to our target of £10,000.
In the meantime don’t forget to log onto Manheim Online’s Bid Weekender timed van auction event, it’s popularity is growing week-on-week as buyers elect to choose the time and sales channel that is convenient to them and their businesses. From 5pm tonight to 8am Monday a selection of vans will be available to peruse and bid on. You can support our charitable event from the comfort of your own armchair or office!
And let’s not forget the big day itself! Our fortnight event surrounds the actual birthday of Ford Transit. This year the 9th August falls on a Sunday, back in 1965 it was a Monday. The Transit weighed in at 542 pounds (Sterling) and The Beatles were Number One with “Help”. I wasn’t even born (unbelievable I know!).
With week one drawing to a close at our midway point I would like to thank everyone who has supported us from the bottom of my heart. As one customer said to me yesterday it is clearly apparent the centres love doing this, they’re not doing it in sufferance. ABSOLUTELY! They hit the nail on the head. I am proud, like my colleagues, to be part of the UK’s number one CV auction company. A worldwide, world class industry leading brand and team that is full of people who are passionate, professional, skilled, talented and most of all loved. Loved by customers. Loved by me. Loved by Manheim and Cox Automotive. Bring on week 2!
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Find out more about Manheim's Ford Transit celebrations here >