Q: Who are you and what is your business?
A: Nick Welch, aged 52, and I am the Managing Director of the Gloucester Road Service Station Bournemouth Ltd, which trades as GRS. The operation specialises in 24 Hour breakdown recovery and offers full garage services with facilities for Class 4, 5 and 7 MOTs.
Q: How did you start in the motor industry?
A: I left school to become an apprentice mechanic. I began working for myself when I was 26 and took over GRS in 1993. Since then I have expanded it into a company with a turnover in excess of £1million.
Q: How do you see the future for the IGA?
A: The future is bright as independents realise that their standards need to be high, and the Code of Conduct and Trust My Garage will become a necessity in helping them develop their business.
Q: What are the big issues facing the industry and what can the IGA do to address those issues and to help its members?
A: The key issues are the need for access to information and the need for a fair and competitive market. For the IGA it is vital that we become the badge of respectability and professionalism in the eyes of the customer for quality, service, standard and pricing.
Q: What is your message for the IGA and other members?
A: Member feedback is essential if members’ issues are to be identified and dealt with a problem shared is a problem halved. If members feel that we’re doing something wrong, wrong, then they need to let us know.