Thanks to Mike Wilkinson of Peter Wilkinson & Co who is Chairman of Car Craft for this update on Car Craft Queensland's 10th anniversary.
As an organisation, Car Craft was quite successful in establishing a network of likeminded, independent body repairers in WA over 20 years. It was at that point, the board decided the company needed to expand into other states to ensure the growth we had enjoyed up until this point would continue.
With the ageing population we were seeing within the body repair industry, there was a need to expand and what better place than Brisbane, Queensland. So similar to Perth, mining state - beautiful beaches, warm sunny weather, how hard could it be?Wow, did we get a shock. Unfortunately, for us, a couple of groups had tried to establish themselves within the greater Brisbane area priorto us arriving. They were unlike Car Craft in their structure and philosophies and there were a number of people within the Queensland industry that had a less than satisfactory experience which left them very sour and disappointed.
Our previous General Manager in W.A. (Dean Taylor) had moved to Queensland for family reasons, so we thought it a good strategy to ask Dean if he would be prepared to take up the challenge of starting the Car Craft business for us in Brisbane. After all, he had worked with us for a number of years in W.A and new the structures and the philosophies and had a very good knowledge of the expectations of the business but also of the potential members. Even with Dean’s herculean efforts, we struggled to find people to commit to joining our group. Many liked the structure but were not prepared to take the plunge. It was a really hard and frustrating time for us and even more so for Dean.
Through persistence and hard work Dean gained some traction and some forethinking, entrepreneurial bodyshop owners signed up and under the leadership of John Boukouras as Chairman and the support of the board of directors, Car Craft Queensland was born. There was some excitement developing within the group and with the employment of Ben Chesterfield as part of the administration team, the business started to grow and the reputation for quality and professionalism was developing.
We have seen the business grow exponentially over more recent years and I have to congratulate Chris Manteit as Chairman, his board of Directors along with all the members in Queensland on a fantastic job. The business of Car Craft is now a serious player in the Queensland market place and reputations are growing.
Congratulations to everyone involved, you are all contributing to the bigger picture and helping the Car Craft brandgrow stronger and stronger. While we in the west are unable to join you at the moment to celebrate such a great achievement at the moment, we are all looking forward to catching up for a drink and a few stories.