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The end of an era....

Posted: Mon 02 Apr, 2018 3:24 pm
by John Green
The end of an era.

As most of our Newsletter and Facebook subscribers will know we have had both our spare parts business and workshop on the market for some time. Whilst it was announced in in early November last year, we had been marketing the business for some time before that. Being a very specialised business does limit the marketing base for such a sale and to date we have not been successful.


As of the 29th of March 2018 we will be winding down our spare parts business and concentrating on our workshop and restoration business. No new enquiries for spare parts will be quoted, however will be honouring any quotes done in the last three months and completing the many orders that are currently in progress.

This will come as a shock to some of our more regular customers, to whom we are very grateful for your loyalty over the years. Being a small family business operating in an extremely specialised market, we have realised just how lucky we were to have had the services of some of our key staff over the years. Our efforts to find replacement staff with the required skill set have been challenging to say the least, especially with the knowledge that we were doing our best to sell the business. Over 24 years we have managed to successfully support many Australasian Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts helping them restore and then enjoy either their classic or everyday Mercedes-Benz. But as they say in the classic’s “all good things must come to an end”.

The market for spare parts is growing in unison with the ever expanding range of new Mercedes-Benz models, add this to the current surge in the classic car market and the additional increase in demand is beyond us. Our health and sanity are not worth a few extra oil filter sales and we wish to have more time to peruse our own interests.

Over the next few months we will be selling off much of the accumulated stock of new and used parts. How this will be done has not yet been decided. We would ask that you don’t flood us with “have you got” emails just yet as we work out which medium we will be using to sell off the stock.

Whilst we have now effectively closed down the spare parts arm of the business, the intellectual property is still for sale and would be a great kick starter to anyone interested in moving into the industry.

The workshop is business as usual, we are still booked out around a month in advance with work coming in from all over Australia and look forward to offering a better level of service to our workshop customers.

And who knows, maybe at last I will have enough time to get back to contributing this great forum again... :dance: :dance:



John & Sandra Green.

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Mon 02 Apr, 2018 4:25 pm
by gazman
I'm gutted . . . . . but thank you an all the best

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Mon 02 Apr, 2018 5:40 pm
by kimrh
Sad to see such a brilliant side of the business come to an end when with such a brilliant track record and vast knowledge on the parts but can understand when trying to run a busy workshop as well.
But yes with so many models out there now can understand it would challenging!!
You have certainly helped me out over the years and even went the extra mile to ship an SEC coupe rear windscreen to me in a large box across Aust when i needed one.
Great service John & the team and much appreciated your backup over the past 10yrs!!!

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Mon 02 Apr, 2018 5:49 pm
by Ivanerrol
Best of luck with the continuing workshop business John.

I'd like a dollar for every time I've been asked for a good honest place to get a M.B. serviced or fixed.

The spare parts business is obviously slowing down to slim margins and a lot of time spent chasing clients bits and pieces.

The Big internet sellers - F.C.P., Pelican, EEuroparts plus a few U.K. based mobs are infiltrating the internet market. Even with international shipping and import taxes and GST it's hard to compete.

Another M.B. parts seller friend of mine has also wound down this side of the business. He withdrew his workshop and older model parts business and is now concentrated on the insurance side importing genuine body panels for late model cars. His parts business now consists of being a middle man for Imparts.

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Mon 02 Apr, 2018 8:29 pm
by cuisses
This is sad news, but I completely understand the decision. Running a small business like this one with so many different parts is always going to be difficult, particularly when "good help is hard to find these days." Both Murray and Chris have moved on, and even though I had great faith in Chris's ability to work miracles, I suspect he is not coming back.

All I can say is that a great opportunity for someone young and energetic is going begging. The spare parts business was never short of customers -anyone who has visited the place knows that the phones ring continuously, and with sufficient staff it could run 24/7/365.

I wish John and Sandra better health and more sanity in the future, now that things will be simpler, and great success in the car-fixing business, particularly as my W108 is booked in for the 17th ...

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Tue 03 Apr, 2018 8:30 am
by John Green
Ivanerrol wrote:
Mon 02 Apr, 2018 5:49 pm
Best of luck with the continuing workshop business John.
I'd like a dollar for every time I've been asked for a good honest place to get a M.B. serviced or fixed.
The spare parts business is obviously slowing down to slim margins and a lot of time spent chasing clients bits and pieces.
The Big internet sellers - F.C.P., Pelican, EEuroparts plus a few U.K. based mobs are infiltrating the internet market. Even with international shipping and import taxes and GST it's hard to compete.
Another M.B. parts seller friend of mine has also wound down this side of the business. He withdrew his workshop and older model parts business and is now concentrated on the insurance side importing genuine body panels for late model cars. His parts business now consists of being a middle man for Imparts.
The margins were not the problem. It was the ever expanding range of Mercedes-Benz products, coupled with the difficulties getting staff with the right skill set. Even with us doing zero promotion of the business and only using 2 of the 4 phone lines we have we were still experiencing significant annual sales growth. We never set out to try and beat the local wholesalers like Imparts or even the big online stores, that would be futile. Our strength lay in being able to talk customers though there purchases, many of which were happy to pay the higher price, just to have the service we offered that the online stores can't.

We are however greatfull for just how far we got with the staff that we did have.

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Tue 03 Apr, 2018 12:39 pm
by CraigB
Good to hear you are guided by looking after yourself John and sounds like you have it all covered. Off to see a mate now with an inoperable brain tumour at 54 who was busily stressing himself and working his butt off prior to that. I find it amazing though the same story i have heard before - eg. Power Brakes in Adelaide when they closed down their Norwood branch and I said - I guess the land is so valuable now and demand dropped with people rolling over new cars more often etc - but not at all, plenty of demand and purely driven by not being able to get skilled workers and/or apprentices to keep two places running. Just seems nuts. Over the years I increasingly bought from the 'cheap' suppliers (partly as my car 'habit' increased and extra savings helping to service that) but also had my share of situations where its not the right part and your freight means its a lost exercise. If you needed to get the right part and fast, and know the ins and outs of different part manufacturers of same item etc etc - then there was only ever one place to go.... but no longer! That goes for the dealers to and even with the chassis number to work off they can still hand you the wrong part for your car.

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Tue 03 Apr, 2018 1:19 pm
by AMG
Obviously there was quite a lengthy and serious consideration given prior to the decision being made, and again, obviously not a decision taken lightly.

It is a difficult road to travel when business is growing, yet the 'real' economics (work-life balance) do not make sense.

For this reason I applaud your decision to quit whilst ahead. Health and happiness are far more important than being a slave to your occupation.

I only wish I could find myself in a position where I could say 'stuff it' and enjoy the reduction in stress and live on 'one's own terms' rather than chained to a corp salary.

It's not too late. I do envy your ability to make this decision, knowing how much impact events over the last decade have impacted your health and the business.

It'll be great to see 'young John' back on deck after it's all wound up and sorted.

Congratulations are in order :occasion5: even though we're all going to be a little more than sad to see MB Spares close that roller door for the last time.

I'm pretty sure I want to be there on the day, so let us know. We should have a farewell party!
:occasion5:

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Tue 17 Apr, 2018 2:47 pm
by tsharkey
Hi John,
Thanks for all the support and guidance re W123 parts - particular the more exotic stuff.

It's a frustrating that you couldn't find someone to sell these businesses to (yet), in many ways they should form the Superannuation that your years of hardwork and accumulated IP have built up. I hope someone, somewhere sees the value in taking this on.

Anyway, enjoy the next phase. I am not far off it myself and in many ways can't wait !

Tim/

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 6:43 am
by markb
Hi John,

Yes, I too was gutted when I heard the news last week at the MBCV Concours. Whilst I was aware you had the business for sale, I never quite contemplated it would have to 'come to an end'.... :banghead:

Thank you for almost 20 years of providing me with advice and common sense on the various MB's I have been a custodian. I must point out too, the emergency support MB Spares helped me on an particular ACT public holiday, whilst this duffus here damaged a fairly new radiator in Melbourne (John not only answered his mobile phone on that public holiday, but arranged my replacement part in Melbourne for pickup within the hour ! :notworthy: )

All the best to you and Sandra and well done for taking charge and putting yourselves first.

Cheers

Mark

Re: The end of an era....

Posted: Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:36 am
by piperjon
Yes it is sad to see the parts closed out. All the best for the future John & Sandra.
Take care and god bless.
John