Beverley Motor Works have a simple vision for the future of their business: high-end technical expertise with high-end customer care.
Beverley’s newest car workshop, located on Unit D1 off Annie Reed Road, is the brainchild of former BMW employees Richard Hayes and Alan Lewis.
The pair have almost 30-years of experience working for BMW dealerships in the region and earlier this year decided to take the enormous step of leaving behind the security of their jobs and setting up a new business in one of the most competitive sectors in the economy.
It is, as the pair admit, a huge step for them, but with Alan’s unrivalled technical knowledge and Richard’s eye for customer care, they believe they can plug a big hole in the market for car repairs and create a business customers will fully enjoy dealing with.
Richard told HU17.net: “Our main reason behind this was a bit of frustration at working in an environment with a lot of people and seeing some disgruntled customers.
“We realised that by not giving the personal touch, you are in danger of ruining relations with customers. The idea behind this business is that customers can come in and look around – they can see the car in the workshop, they can speak to Alan, they can speak to me, we will tell them everything that is going on, what the bill is and we will show them there will be no hidden costs.
“This is what you’ll pay, you can collect your car at this time and we will look after your car as is if it was our own.
“If you go to a big dealership, you park your car up, if you can get parked that is, then come into reception. You’ll deal with one guy, another guy will ring you up during the day, then someone else will ring you up and tell you it is ready, or, if you are unlucky, you will have to chase it. There can be a lot of frustration.”
Richard and Alan’s roles in the business could not be more separate – but equally could not be more complimentary.
Richard’s background in the motor trade is in the management side of the business, being parts leader at leading local BMW dealership Stratstones.
He would always go to senior BMW-qualified technician Alan should any problem arise, as, he admits, “no-one is more qualified than Alan”.
The pair built their working relationship into a solid friendship, and earlier this year they started talking seriously about the possibility of pooling their knowledge and resources and creating what they believe is the perfect model for a car repair business.
They have now been open for 10 weeks, and the fruits of their labour are there for all to see. Their workshop is a huge 6,445 sq ft in size and is easily visible through a smart and welcoming reception area that is designed to put customers at ease throughout what can often be a tricky time for the car owner.
Their original idea was to specialise in BMWs and Minis, taking advantage of Alan’s 20 years of experience within the BMW family.
Since opening their business, they have realised there is no car they can’t work on and have broadened their business to accomodate any car from any customer, including those under warranty.
“If you can work on a BMW you can work on anything, because their engineering is really at the top of its game,” said Alan, “technology wise, the lot. All the other similar level cars, your Audis, Mercedes etc, they all use the same sort of systems.”
Richard continued: “We came into this very institutionalised – BMW, BMW, BMW – but actually we realised we have the expertise to be able to do any car we want.
“Yes, there is going to be niche stuff that we are going to have to outsource, but whenever we have needed help from another garage in Beverley they have helped.
“What we also want people to know is that we can do work on all cars that are under warranty. If a car is under warranty people can still bring it to us. As long as you carry out the work to the manufacturers’ specifications, which we have on our computer and on our website, and use genuine parts and oils, it all keeps the warranty valid.
“It’s all been a massive learning curve for us, but we believe we have the model right for success.”
Although still in its infancy, the pair have big plans for the future of Beverley Motor Works.
Their aim is to have ten ramps in their big, airy workshop and eventually employ local people on apprenticeships in what they hope will be a family environment.
“Apprentices are what we want,” continued Richard. “I know we could train them.
“We would do a cracking job and we would not want to just train them and move them on after two years. We want them to work with us and become part of the business and feel as proud of it as we do.
“We want to create an environment where people would have to ask themselves why they would want to leave.
“They are lofty ambitions at the moment but if you don’t aim high you don’t get there.”
Such ambitions are worthy ones, but in this most competitive of markets, how do Beverley Motor Works plan to stay ahead of the opposition?
Richard said: “All we say to people, who are not sure and wonder whether they should take their car to a dealer, especially if it is under warranty, is this: come and meet us, come and have a coffee and see what we are about and talk to us.
“Once people meet us and see what we have to offer they will see we are not just a garage, not somewhere just to take your car. It’s somewhere where you will be looked after and where we will treat your car as if it is our own car and tell you exactly what it will cost.
“We might not be the cheapest, but we are not the most expensive for sure. With us you will get what you pay for.”