Brian Young, Managing Director of Molson Young Plant Sales has decided to retire from the company following an illustrious career that has established him as one of the best known figures in the construction plant industry within Scotland.
Brian’s retirement will be effective from the 1st October 2019, with current Head of Sales for Molson Young Plant Sales, Mark Proudfoot taking the reins of the business thereafter. However, Brian’s exit is not the end of the Young family’s involvement in the company. His son, Joe Young is set to continue his role within the after sales department and see the Young family legacy in the business carry forward.
Brian said; “My retirement has been in the plan for some time following the acquisition of Young Plant Sales by Molson Group in 2016. My aim was always to manage the business through the handover period, making sure our customers, staff and suppliers had continuity as our business became a key part of the Molson Group.
“I have spent many years building relationships with a huge number of people within the industry, but for me most importantly I believe we have built trust. I am a man of my word, so it was important for me to ensure the business, which will continue to carry my family name, is capable of maintaining these standards. I know that both the team at Molson Group and the staff I leave running the Molson Young Plant Sales business are cut from the same cloth as myself, so the family name is in safe hands”.
Molson Group joint Managing Director, Jonathan Wilson commented; “Brian has been a fantastic servant to the Scottish construction equipment industry over many years will certainly be missed as he steps back to enjoy his well-deserved retirement. With many stories from a long and illustrious career, I am sure Brian will deservedly look back with pride on the many successes that he has achieved. He leaves a business on a clear upward trajectory, with new dealerships on the horizon and in the midst of an interesting time in the Scottish construction industry. I am sure the team we have in place are more than capable of continuing to improve the service our customers receive from Molson Young Plant Sales, as Brian has strived to do throughout his career”.
40 years of Kubota
The Young Plant Sales business has changed a lot since it was founded by Brian’s parents Bridie and Tom in May 1978, laying the foundations for what would become one of Scotland’s leading multi-franchise plant dealers. Young Plant was credited with introducing mini excavators to Scotland when it was awarded the franchise for Kubota equipment, with 2020 being the 40th year of the longstanding partnership.
Brian commented; “Selling mini diggers was very difficult in the early years as the market was not ready to accept them. Commonly seen as “boys amongst men” – selling “Tonka Toys!” operators on site clearly thought “big was beautiful” and we were laughed off sites throughout Scotland with cries of “you know where you can shove your dinky toy”. Not helped by the fact I had long hair and a beard, no sales training and no established customer base to work with… I drove around the country looking for sites with my single brochure for the only model available of the very basic, but very functional Kubota KH10D. Our mission was clear, we had to get it on site to let it prove itself. Eventually persistence and stubbornness paid off eventually, however as with many early starts under the belt and long miles recorded, we sold 4 units in my first year and had achieved sales over 50 in my 5th year of trying”.
Although today the business is still synonymous with the Kubota brand, during his tenure Brian successfully secured the distribution rights for other market leading brands including Thwaites, Bomag and Hyundai. To secure and maintain the dealership agreements for these highly regarded brands goes to show the esteem that Young Plant Sales was and continues to be held within the Scottish construction industry.
The future is bright
Despite the mutual split with Hyundai on the 1st January 2019, as it stands today the Molson Young Plant Sales product portfolio currently also includes more premium quality products such as Kobelco excavators, Dieci telehandlers and Bergmann dumpers in their construction equipment range. With the addition of products from Molson Group’s recycling industry focused division Molson Green, the company has also diversified over recent years to achieve the target of sustained year on year growth. The new brands include Sennebogen material and scrap handlers, Terex Ecotec shredders and screeners as well as the compact crushing and screening range from TrommALL to name but a few.
None can do it alone
Speaking of partnerships, Brian fondly remanences about some of the characters that have made his time at Young Plant so enjoyable; “Although there are too many great people to mention individually, we have a number of members of the team as it stands today that deserve a mention. With Sales Manager Andy Wilson and Sales Administrator Sandra Valentine both serving more than 16 years’ service, as well as Finance and Admin Administrators Helen Lidgate and Oliver Kerr proving to be indispensable members of the team with 27 and 38 years of service respectively.
“A special mention should go to our former Sales Director and in-house joker Bob Lyttle, who retired from the business in October 2017. During his 14 years in the business, Bob and I worked closely together to achieve many successes. After joining the Young Plant team as part of the acquisition of North British Tractors (NBT) in 2003, Bob and I formed a formidable tag team that led the business on an incredible journey transforming it from a humble £3.5m turnover to in excess of £15m in Bob’s final year”.
Throughout his time as MD of Young Plant Sales, Brian was in a fortunate position to be invited to many factory visits and international trade shows, all with their stories that will be saved for another day. However, it is the domestic trade shows that Brian reflects on most fondly; “To the best of my knowledge, Young Plant Sales are the only business that has attended every Hamilton Plant Show (now Scotplant) to this day. During the early years of the Hamilton Show, myself and George would spend days getting our stand just right. However, I do think that people flocked to our stand for Bridie’s scones with jam and cream or famous mince pies more than anything. I know that Molson Young Plant Sales are planning to continue this tradition with a strong presence at Scotplant 2020”.
A lot has happened in 40 years, but it’s not the end for me
Reflecting on the changes in the industry over the last 40 years, Brian has some poignant examples of how managing a business has transformed during his time at the helm; “It seems a long time ago since one of my weekly tasks included making sure the sales team had enough small coins each week to use in phone boxes around the country to check in with the office. Or when I had to lug my first mobile phone which included its own bag, around Whipsnade at the SED shows.
“One constant for me has been being a proud member of the SPOA. This association gives a voice to our industry and I am very much looking forward to continuing my affiliation with the group when I take the role of Chairman for 2020. I am also pleased to say that the Molson Group Directors have requested that I keep an open line to them, working on a consultancy basis in order to provide some key accounts with continuity”.