Refrigerated vehicle specialist reports record year after boosting stocks

Rupert Gatty

A Burnley firm specialising in temperature-controlled light commercial vehicles has reported a record year of sales after taking the decision to boost stocks during COVID lockdowns.

CoolKit revealed 2022 sales of £20.1m, which is an almost 60% improvement on its previous record year.

During 2022 the firm took orders for 305 of its converted vans, topping both the previous year’s 211 and 2019’s record of 273.

In 2021 sales achieved £12.5m and in 2019 £12.6m, respectively.

Forward planning during COVID and global supply chain shortages saw CoolKit commit to stocking nearly 600 new vans, including models from Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Maxus, Mercedes-Benz, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

The strategy enabled the company to immediately meet the increase in demand from its core customer bases as they emerged from the pandemic.

Such was the shortage of new stock in the industry that CoolKit found it was often receiving enquiries from intermediaries in the supply chain for the first time, for example, from rental and contract hire companies as well as brokerages.

CoolKit chief executive, Rupert Gatty, said: “Our markets saw a huge resurgence in activity post-COVID, especially within the foodservice and hospitality industries which were effectively closed by the pandemic.

“Although we have been impacted by the global supply chain challenges, we took a calculated risk in stocking more than 500 new vans to combat stock shortages. We were able to utilise relationships with suppliers to ensure we could obtain stock. This risk paid off, and we’re celebrating a year of record orders.”

He added: “Our value proposition is also exciting to our customers. CoolKit is pioneering new methods and materials to optimise refrigerated van capacity and productivity and increasing our conversion of electric vehicles as our customers start to make the transition to net zero.”

While other converters also saw increased growth, CoolKit achieved a healthy increase in market share.

A new executive team and upskilling of the workforce also helped strengthen corporate fleet sales, pharmaceutical fleet sales and box body sales.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...