Living up to its name

  • Powerhaus - Wellington

    Dave Scott (owner), Reuben Lithgow, Reuben Smith (owner), Alex Heffield, and Craig Turner.

Markhams’ client Reuben Smith has every reason to be proud. Powerhaus, the European car servicing business he owns with Dave Scott, has scooped two major industry awards: Wellington General Repairer and the Supreme General Repairer for the lower North Island at the recent 2012 Oxford Finance Regional MTA awards.

Trained as a mechanic and also holding a business degree from Victoria University, Rueben wasn’t always clear about which career path he would follow. And if it was not for a serendipitous event, Rueben may well have ended up working with his father Peter Smith, a director at Markhams in Wellington.

“Three and a half years ago I returned from living in the UK and was looking at joining Markhams and training as an accountant,” explains Reuben. “At the same time I was being interviewed at Markhams, Powerhaus came up for sale. It was a business in which I could utilise both my university business degree and my mechanic’s qualification. So Dave and I jumped at the chance and bought it.”

Winning two 2012 Oxford Finance Regional MTA awards has reinforced what Rueben and his team are doing with their business, in terms of their attention to customer service.

“We believe that if you look after your customers, they’ll come back. The awards are a validation of what we’re doing and the changes we have made. It’s the customers who vote in these Awards, so it’s a real gauge on how we’re doing,” says Reuben.

Changes in the business have been numerous, and include investment in a new customer waiting room, where the two MTA award plaques now proudly hang.

Powerhaus is the city’s Porsche specialist, but also services and repairs other European marques including BMW, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Ferrari. The firm also offers two other specialist services: classic car restoration and race-car preparation.

“Not many people know about older European cars, so we have definitely found a gap in the market. Our yard looks fantastic when it’s full of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches!”

Published Summer 2012.

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