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40 Years and Still Driving Forward at Auto Services Perth - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

40 Years and Still Driving Forward at Auto Services Perth

                                                          

In November 2021 Auto Services Perth Ltd, a family run garage business, celebrated 40 years in business with a function held at Murrayshall House Hotel,Perth, for over 100 people, made up of staff, friends, customers and Franchise partners. After almost 2 years of Covid-19 restrictions they were all able to get together and celebrate, and each guest was presented with a specially commissioned bottle of gin or whisky.

 

Stephen Crozier started the business in 1981 when he was 21, with his father Jim. They initially worked from a rented lock-up in Perth, and Jim continued to take an active interest in the garage until he died in 2012, aged 83. Stephen, his wife Elaine and their son Mark are the current Company Directors and Mark is the driving force behind the recovery side. Stephen had ambition and in 1988, had a stroke of luck on the football pools which enabled him to invest in his first new recovery vehicle. They now operate 14 recovery trucks and 5 Roadside service vans.

After 10 years Stephen decided to purchase a property in Ruthvenfield Place in Inveralmond Industrial Estate. Moving from the town centre, out to Inveralmond was a huge move- would their customers travel all that way? Fortunately, they did, but it was challenging times.

Over the years they increased the workforce and expanded the recovery side, gaining contracts with the AA, Green Flag, RAC etc. They currently have over 50 employees, their workshops are open from 07:00hrs until midnight Monday to Friday and 09:00 till 13:00hrs on a Saturday. Recovery obviously is 24/7 with drivers working a shift pattern.

Steve has always been a believer in not having all his eggs in one basket and expanded into vehicle sales, rental and commercial vehicle servicing. They currently have Sales and Service Franchises for Isuzu Pick up and Maxus Vans, Aftersales servicing and repair for Iveco, Mercedes Benz vans, Fiat Professional, VW Commercial and from February have added Vauxhall Light Commercial to their portfolio.

Auto Services Perth Ltd, was outgrowing their base in Ruthvenfield Place and in 2008, at the height of the credit crunch, moved into their main base now at Bertha Park View, but 12 years later it too was bursting at the seams, so they are about to start building another workshop at their new site in Ruthvenfield Way.

Mark has worked in the garage since he was 14 and gained his HGV licence aged 18. He does have an Honours degree in Civil Engineering but decided working in the family business was more exciting. He is expanding the recovery side and moving more into Heavy recovery, and has employed 2 trainees, who he will train up, as there is currently no training scheme available. Thankfully his wife Gemma, understands the life style and can accept the long hours and late-night calls.

Left to Right: Elaine Crozier, Mark Crozier, Roddy Davie (General Manager), Stephen Crozier and Dylan Tindal (apprentice of the year).

When Covid-19 hit in March 2020 recoveries dropped from 40 to 5 per day but gradually this improved and the workshop became busier, as more people turned to on line shopping, and these vehicles needed to be kept road worthy. They provide service for all the main supermarkets and the utility companies. Things are also changing with more electric vans on the road and Auto Services are investing in training for their technicians, to enable them to service and repair these vans, and have 3 Charging points installed at Bertha Park.

40 years is an achievement but they are already planning for the 50th anniversary and plan to continue as a family run business. The garage has bought its own barrel of whisky from the Arran Distillery – this will be ready in 10 years when it will be bottled for the staff, customers and franchise associates.

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