We are a collective of amazing people, all with beautiful life stories, striving to build an automotive business that supports our local community. To encourage our young people to take up learning a trade especially in the Automotive Repair Industry.
The Mangere East site at 256 Massey Road, Mangere East was an existing automotive workshop all setup.
The owner at the time wanted to leave – the shop was not making any money to sustain the lease repayments every week and he was slowly losing his motivation. It was run down; assets consisted of one very old tyre machine, one compressor (loud enough to wake any sleeping giant,) a small tool box, a few other tools, a broken reception desk that sat on a block of wood because it lost a foot, and a couch that you could not sit on (the upgrade was a Trademe purchase – it didn’t live very long). Couple this with a very old slow computer and absolutely no stock – it was still a business for sale and an opportunity (more so a challenge) to throw ourselves into something that could go well or given the circumstances could have fallen over.
Ruta Ioane with a background in Marketing – Bachelor of Business and Information Management and Tenari Vai a mechanic by trade decided to give it a go.
With a 1 year and 6 month old baby girl in tow – her name being ‘Milan’ – a business name was agreed on and company registration was started and so on Wednesday 12th February 2013, ASB granted a small loan $10,000 to be exact – and just like that a Business Account was opened. And so on Wednesday 13th February, 2013 at 8.30am – Milan Motors Limited opened its doors ready for its first day of trading.
With only one initial mechanic on our first day, our very first job card was a tyre puncture repair – the only paying customer for the entire duration of the day! We made a whopping $20 on opening day!
The hard slog had started. With no money for a marketing budget – Ruta having spent endless days handing out brochures at Middlemore hospital before being kindly asked by security to leave…,weekends spent popping business A5 cards into mailboxes (5 suburbs to be exact) using black and white photocopies of a very very basic A5 card from the local library (we had no printer). Hustling to negotiate deals with suppliers – some never bothered to return our emails or calls, trying to open trade accounts with no trade references – some suppliers weren’t interested -, signing up to all the free seminars about making money and playing non-stop inspirational speeches in the car………BOY WAS IT A HARD FIRST YEAR!
We discovered first hand how hard it was to get customers. We also realised how competitive it was in the Automotive Repair Industry. So for every customer we gained we aimed to go above and beyond to deliver a service they would want to come back to and we think it may have worked!
Fast forward to NOW and we are still alive in the game! We are still doing tyre punctures as well as a lot more… And we don’t intend on pushing the back button anytime soon….. so to infinity and beyond.
Our rules of engagement.
At Milan Motors we do the work because we LOVE it! We like the people we meet. We like to talk cars. We embrace it.
We believe there is a better way to be a leading automotive repairer and panel specialist in such a saturated market. A more valuable, honest, upfront and transparent relationship, less invasive but where customers are earned and retained. Where we are more than just a business but a socially conscious one.
Where satisfaction and giving someone a help hand is very important.
Were obsessively passionate about it and our mission is ‘quality work’ and ‘happy customers’! We focus on quality over quantity and customer service. It’s one of the most undervalued and least transparent aspects in the Automotive Industry in NZ and we see that as an opportunity.
Milan Motors is responsive to customers’ needs; we believe in building the community. It creates an environment that improves our entire industry. And it starts with the core values we live at the office/workshop every day!
See our work as well as the team in work!