Paremata Auto Services | New owners bringing fresh drive to motor business

Paremata-Auto.jpgAfter 10 years in partnership with another owner, motor mechanic Simon Munro decided it was time to go out on his own. After a false start due to Covid-19, Simon and his partner Charlotte Cudby, have bought Paremata Auto Services, with the added bonus that it’s just down the road from their home.
Previously Simon had the big commute to Kilbirnie where he’d been in charge of a branch within a large motor service group. Charlotte was ready to move on from her policy career in the city.
“Although I had been left pretty much alone to develop the Kilbirnie business, it was time to have all my efforts pay off for me,” says Simon. “We wanted a business that we could both put ourselves into and get to work in a way we felt it should.”
Since taking over in February, the couple have been doing just that. Charlotte is loving having a customer facing role as office manager.  The workshop has a strong community base and it’s important for existing customers to get to know the new owners. “It’s a little like being in a job interview every day,” she says.
Time spent on marketing is paying off, with their new website attracting online bookings, and the company’s reinvigorated Facebook page getting more followers.
Simon is getting the workshop humming, with the existing staff - a mechanic and an apprentice - kept busy performing all types of servicing, WOFs and alignments on all four wheeled vehicles, including campervans and light trucks.
“We’ve got a large hoist that makes our workshop ideal for campervans, and there are quite a few older people with vans in this area. We’re the ‘go to’ place,” says Charlotte.
“We’ve got a really cool customer base, lots of characters. We live in a great community and we’re really enjoying being part of it, giving back with loads of local sponsorship.”
Simon adds “We love working on cars. We all want to be here and that reflects in our service. We want to help; we want people to feel comfortable and reassured that we’re doing the best job for them.”
When they made the decision to go out on their own, Charlotte did a Google search for an accountant to work with through the purchase process. Her search ended with Abbey Warner at Moore Markhams Wellington.
“It’s been such a pleasant experience. Abbey is to the point, clear in her explanations and was really useful in helping us with the business valuations,” says Charlotte. “She was brilliant at telling us how we should or could use information in our negotiations.”
Those negotiations have involved selling shares in the Kilbirnie business. “Simon had put in a lot of work to grow that business over 100 percent, so we wanted to be sure we were getting a fair value,” says Charlotte.
Initially Abbey helped with due diligence on a business to buy in Taranaki, but this was abandoned when Covid-19 first hit the country. Then later last year the Paremata business opportunity arose.
“Abbey is always so bubbly and positive. Nothing is too much trouble, and she is a million times better to deal with than the previous accountant we’d worked with in the other business,” says Charlotte. “She was so thorough and really added value. She was very proactive and got us to think about things we hadn’t known to think about or ask.”
Now Moore Markhams is on hand to assist Charlotte with any queries she may have about the day to day accounts or payroll, or anything else business related that may pop up.
Photo caption: On hand for a chat and ready to serve, (from left) Charlotte, Simon, Soraya and Dereck.