Pelican sales roles reorganised as Bob Elliott takes time out

Bob Elliott Sales Manager Pelican Bus and Coach

Pelican Bus and Coach Sales Manager Bob Elliott is taking a three-month period away from the Castleford business after retiring at the end of March. He will return on a part-time basis in July to help the importer of Yutong vehicles build its presence in the Scottish coach market.

Bob has been with Pelican since 1983, having begun by selling Foden trucks. More recently he has been central to Pelican’s work with Yutong since it became the Chinese manufacturer’s UK representative in 2013.

Simon Collins – who has been with Pelican for 22 years – has been promoted to Sales Manager for coaches following Bob’s retirement. Meanwhile, Head of Yutong Bus UK Ian Downie takes up the expanded role of Head of Yutong Sales.

Those changes sit alongside other work to strengthen Pelican’s coach sales team. In January the business appointed Amelia Crump and Lee McMahon to Area Sales Manager positions as it targets an increase in market share. Managing Director Richard Crump hopes that will reach 100 new coaches per year, in addition to ongoing successes in the battery-electric bus field.

Bob has led Yutong coach sales in Scotland since 2014, among his other responsibilities. “I have been looking forward to the time away, but I am also keenly anticipating returning to the business in July to contribute to Pelican’s further growth,” he says. “This move means that I can dedicate more time to Scotland, enhancing our presence there.”

Part of that work will involve the TCe12 battery-electric coach. Pelican has already sold multiple TCe12s to Ember Core for scheduled services, but interest among other Scottish operators is growing.

Fittingly, Bob’s last vehicle handover prior to his sabbatical involved a new GT12 for Premier Coaches of Aberdeenshire. He was instrumental in the GT12’s development for the UK and remained the conduit to China for all coach range model improvements until retirement.

Bob’s career in the commercial vehicle industry began in 1970 as an apprentice mechanic, which heralded the start of 10 years in that field. In 1980 he joined Foden to sell trucks before Pelican took on the territory that he was covering in 1983. Despite that length of service, Bob is not Pelican’s longest serving employee.

“I feel very loyal to the Yutong brand and I am proud of what we have achieved with it. The UK is now Yutong’s largest European market,” Bob continues. “We have also proved that people from a truck background can sell coaches, but a lot of that has come down to our commitment to customers. They come first, always.”

Speaking about Bob’s decision to take semi-retirement, Richard says: “I am sorry to see Bob step down from a full-time position but delighted that he will return to us in July. For over 38 years he has worked miracles for Pelican.

“Like many of our customers, Bob has absorbed a huge amount of pressure during two very difficult pandemic years, in his case running the sales department, as well as building the Yutong brand into what it is now. He deserves to spend a bit of time with his feet up, and riding his Harley Davidson!

“In the meantime, it is business as usual.”