THE FUTURE IS CERTAINLY BRIGHT FOR FIX AUTO MID DEVON AS THE COMPANY UNVEILS ITS NEW BODYSHOP!
Leading motor insurers, suppliers, fellow bodyshop owners and civic dignitaries witnessed the final unveiling of the total transformation of Crediton-based bodyshop, Fix Auto Mid Devon at the official opening ceremony held on November 12 2013.
Owner Louise Woolacott gave a passionate, thought provoking and emotional speech following what has been a tireless year-long project involving every company member, resulting in the complete redevelopment, not to mention the future-proofing, of the 40-year old car repair business.
More than £450,000 has been spent on bringing two 7,500sq ft workshops under a single, 8,500sq ft roof, and practically rebuilding one of the units, first constructed with a £7,000 loan by the company’s founder, Geoff Woolacott, in the 1960’s.
In front of more than 100 guests, Louise said: “I am very proud to welcome you all here today and am overwhelmed by your support. You are all busy people with your own businesses and challenges. It is mind blowing that you have given up your valuable time to share this day with us and I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
“I passionately believe that business succeeds through good relationships – be that with your own staff, your customers or the wider supply chain. We are extremely fortunate here to have superb, highly skilled staff, loyal customers and very strong links with the industry.
“I pride myself on those relationships. My husband’s parents started the company in 1970 and it was founded on quality, honesty and respect and all we’ve done is build on those foundations. That said, we have had a difficult 10 years and there is a noticeable decline in our industry. We have been faced with some challenging decisions and joining Fix Auto has been the most positive step we have taken. Through the support of Fix Auto UK and the help of the innovative leaders in the network, we felt brave enough to take the step of redeveloping our site and future-proofing the business.”
She added: “When we decided to mark our achievement and to have an opening ceremony there was no contest as to who to ask to perform the opening ceremony. NFU Insurance have been great supporters for many years and we have a huge respect for Bob Phillips, Head of Motor Engineers for NFU. So with the backing of our valued relationships with our customers and Fix Auto UK, we feel ready to embrace the next challenges.”
Fix Auto Mid Devon has invested wisely in a brand new two-storey ‘front of house’ to include a plush reception, modern amenities and smart offices, coupled with state-of-the-art equipment and the total makeover of the workshop facilities which arguably elevates the centre to become one the most prestigious sites in the South West of England.
The new equipment – which includes two, bespoke-designed external spraybooths - combined with a host of fresh working practices and a highly-efficient layout will enable the company to vastly improve energy efficiency and ensures the Mitsubishi, Kia and BSI Kitemark-accredited business will have increased its capacity to repair up to 50 accident-damaged vehicles per week.
The first phase of the project began last November with substantial ground works required to convert waste land adjoining the Lords Meadow Industrial Estate centre in order to provide a wider and much improved access, together with additional car parking.
The second phase – which saw the former single storey front of the building totally demolished and replaced by a two storey office complex that now houses its customer care team, spacious reception and employee rest area - commenced in April this year.
Mrs Woolacott, who runs the business with a team of 18 alongside her daughters, Alena and Erika, explained: “This investment brings us bang up to date and reflects the professional image the motoring public expect. We won’t be immune to the problems faced by us all in the industry, but we now stand an excellent chance of maximizing any opportunities that arise. Our future has never looked so bright.”
Marsh Road, Lords Meadow Industrial Estate
Owned and operated by G Woolacott & Son Ltd. Registered number: 05506820. Registered office: Marsh Road, Lords Meadow Industial Estate, Crediton, EX17 1EU.