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A Tradition of Craftsmanship

Mellor is one of the industry’s oldest established and leading manufacturers of specialist passenger carrying vehicles, with a tradition going back over 50 years at Rochdale.

Tom Mellor, a Rochdale Ford car dealer, founded what is now Mellor Coachcraft in the 1960s. His workshop originally built commercial vehicles such as vans and tipper trucks, but Tom was a member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and through that organisation he was approached by customers who wanted him to diversify into minibuses. The first was a Ford Transit for North West Water in 1965, but others for Manchester social services soon followed. The business prospered and within 10 years Tom had built the premises, since then extended with a paint shop and offices that Mellor Coachcraft occupies today.  Mellor’s place in the history of the UK bus industry was assured when it became a key supplier to Transit Holdings during the minibus revolution of the mid to late 1980’s. Today, this vibrant business is part of the privately owned Woodall Nicholson Group and prides itself on the quality of product and service it delivers to its targeted local authority customers.

The Woodall Nicholson Group has a £20m turnover and employs around 170 people. There are three distinct businesses: Coleman Milne, Mellor Coachcraft and Mellor Vancraft. Specialist coachbuilder Coleman Milne based at Woodall Nicholson’s headquarters in Westhoughton, Bolton continues to build bespoke hearses and limousines using the latest technology combined with traditional craft skills such as woodworking, cabinet making, and upholstery. Ford, Mercedes Benz and other brands are used and there is also an Emergency Services division that has build thousands of units from prisoner transfer, riot control to Police dog handling vehicles.

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A dedicated van conversion facility was opened at Westhoughton 13 years ago, in a new factory build on land adjacent to Coleman Milne. Mellor Vancraft has two seven stage production lines with inspection pits and a paint shop.

Over the years, Mellor Coachcraft has developed specialist expertise in the manufacture of accessible buses. Today, the company is the acknowledged market leader in the supply of accessible vehicles to local authorities and user group’s across the UK and is one of the largest engineering based employers in Rochdale.

Build quality is promoted by a senior management team, who have worked in the industry all their lives.  Many staff has spent most of their working lives with Mellor. Like Mr David Clegg who has been working in the sales office since 1965 or Mr Geoff Hudson that started working in the factory at the age of 16 as an apprentice coach builder and is now one of the owners of the company.

The current product range varies from Iveco Daily, Mercedes Sprinter and Vario, Fiat Ducato and Volkswagen Crafter. Whether you need one or a hundred vehicles, 3 or 33 seats, Mellor Coachcraft has the know how, production resources and finishing skills to offer you the vehicles with the best whole-life cost in the industry. At Mellor, it’s not merely a slogan, but an overriding philosophy that drives the company forward – a philosophy that keeps customers coming back again and again. With most things in life, if you put a lot in, you get a lot out. Mellor Vehicles are no exception. With quality built in at every stage of production, it’s no surprise that Mellor vehicles go on performing well for the whole of their considerable lifetime.

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