Two competing Cambridge-based dealer groups have linked up to cut the effects of rising fuel costs.
And the move, which sees them pulling together their rival retail parts distribution services, is expected to save more than £100,000 a year.
Collaboration between Murketts Vauxhall Cambridge and EMG Motor Group came after executives in the two companies informally discussed escalating running costs.
Murketts and EMG, a multi-franchised group, were both operating twice-daily parts deliveries to independent garages across a wide territory in East Anglia.
They were using the same routes and often both delivering to the same workshops with vans that were not always running fully laden.
Trevor Dew, aftersales manager at Murketts, said: “Our delivery drivers and EMG’s found they were following each other around the roads of Cambridgeshire and into Bedfordshire. We realised we needed to act.”
Roy Jakes, EMG group’s parts director, said: “This arrangement allows us to achieve significant environmental benefits while maintaining a reliable and cost-effective parts distribution service.”
Both firms have cut the size of their fleets by two vehicles – Murketts from seven to five, and EMG from 11 to nine. Murketts has made two drivers redundant.
Dew said: “We have both estimated the total annual cost of each van, including labour, to be around £30,000.
“We were concerned that our customers might not like a Murketts Vauxhall van delivering parts for other makes, and vice versa.
“But when we carried out some research we found our customers did not mind.
“One told me he did not care ‘if you deliver in a chariot’ as long as he received ordered parts on time.”
The two companies continue to operate their own branded vans.
Dews said: “In addition to maintaining our level of service to customers and saving money, both companies have seen other benefits. At times our parts are being delivered more frequently, and both companies are taking parts to areas where it was previously not economical to operate.”
Dews said that if the price of road fuel dropped dramatically Murketts and EMG could revert to separate distribution systems.
“For now, though, we are both pleased about being able to save money,” he said.