Step down for Phil Maywald

STEPPING DOWN: Phil Maywald has stepped down at his auto repair shop. Picture: SUPPLIED

AFTER more than 50 years in the mechanics industry, Mount Gambier/Berrin’s Phil Maywald is taking a step back, as he and his wife Lisa welcome new owners to their auto repairs business.

Mr Maywald first started his career in 1968 when he was cleaning cars at the age of 15 before being offered an apprenticeship.

“I was earning $17.50 a week but taking home $15.50 after tax and at that age I thought it was Christmas,” Mr Maywald said.

“I started from there and spent about three months overseas after the dealership I worked for closed up.”

After spending time working, traveling and surfing in New Zealand, Mr Maywald returned to Mount Gambier/Berrin where he secured a job at Barry Maney Ford before he and his wif elise established Phil Maywald Auto Repairs in 1985, with Phil working on the cars and Lisa doing the bookwork.

“Over the years I have really enjoyed working with the older cars and a lot of them are not around anymore and many have evolved,” Mr Maywald said.

“The old guzzlers back in those days would burn fuel something shocking, but today it is incredible what they can get out of engines,” Mr Maywald said.

“When I first started you would have four or five engines in the workshop idling away with mechanics working on them and the place would be full of brake dust and fumes.

“The fact we have been in business for so long means we have never been without work so it is really a great trade for people to get into because although it is dirty and sweaty it is needed.”

He said over the years the business had been good to them despite the ups and downs – there were far more ups than downs.

“I have really enjoyed being my own boss and on the customer side of things, Lisa I have enjoyed being able to help people.

“It just felt good because we have been able to help people when they were stranded.”

Mr Maywald said customers were still getting to know the new owners Brendan Fleming and Tom Garner who bring new technical skills to the business.

He said with some of the customers coming back to the business for 35 years it was important to keep the loyalty going.

“That’s why I am still here most days contracting to the new owners,” he said.

“Hopefully this is the best way for customers to remain comfortable with the change and I still want to work and keep busy.

“We have full faith that Brendan and Tom will do their best for the customer, which is really important to us,” Mr Maywald said.

“Passing over our business that we built up for all that time, it was important for us to make sure the loyal customers kept coming back and to ensure the same good service would be provided

to them.”

“It is great now though because I will still be working on cars and running customers home and having a chat but I will not be dealing with the running of the business and now at the end of the day I can leave the workshop and not

take the work home with me.”