Mechanic bounces back after fire destroyed his business

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Mick Woodward has established an MOT test centre at a nearby garage

A garage owner from Derby has told a local newspaper how he has moved on after a fire destroyed his business in June 2022.

“It knocked me down but it didn’t knock me out,“ mechanic Mick Woodward told the Derby Telegraph.

Mick and his business partner Avtar Singh Deyal had just spent £20,000 on the MOT bay when an arsonist set fire to the premises of Navigation Auto & MOT Centre, which the pair had taken over in 2004.

“I wouldn’t accept it at all,” said Mick. “I wanted to carry on. But we lost everything. I had six or seven months of being right down. We tried everything we could around here to set up again but no matter where we went, we kept getting rejected.”

Fortunately for Mick, help came from another local garage which had previously outsourced MOTs to Navigation. Mark Baxter of Marilly Motors picks up the story:

“Pre-Covid, we’d thought about it [establishing an MOT workshop] but after that, I couldn’t think of who we could get in to help. Mick was the only person I knew, and I’ve dealt with a lot of people over the years. So after the fire, it was a no-brainer and an ideal opportunity. 

“It was unfortunate for Mick, but I would’ve been stupid not to take him on. He was willing to come and manage the MOT side and it worked out.”

Although Avtar has since retired from the trade, Mick joined Marrily Motors in April 2023 and completed his first MOTs at the end of the month.

Mick added: “As one door shut, another opened. I jumped at the opportunity. Now I want to let everyone know that I’m here. We had twenty odd years of building a rapport with our customers at the Navigation. In some circumstances we had three or four generations of families that came to us. They were relationships built on trust.

“You know what it’s like when people go to a new garage for an MOT. They’re worried about what will be done to their car. But people trusted us. We want to carry on that trust here.”

Source: Derby Telegraph

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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