MotorOne Group are a national business with a core focus around the provision of aftermarket car care products to dealerships, fleets and OEM’s and secondly, on the eastern seaboard, have established a growing vehicle accident repair business comprising a hub-and-spoke network of fixed sites and a fleet of mobile scratch and dent repair vans.
- How has COVID-19 affected your business and how have you adjusted?
Immediately post COVID-19, coupled with the variety of state restrictions we experienced an immediate downturn in our core business and naturally a nosedive in revenue. Given we’re closely aligned to the ebbs and flows of car sales the impact on our company like many others was predicated on a state-by-state basis, dependent on what restrictions and where. It has to be said that business for us in some states has remained buoyant throughout and less affected as a result of some states making the call for earlier and more stringent lockdowns. We identified the opportunity to diversify using part of our existing mobile van repair fleet and established within weeks MotorOne Express Detailing and Sanitisation, an instant mobile business from our existing pool of Mercedes Vito vans. MotorOne accelerated the launch as a result of the company receiving massive enquiry about how MotorOne can help in offering a better understanding of the various levels of vehicle sanitisation in early days of restrictions. This all stems from the AutoKlene business, part of the MotorOne Group.
Catering for primarily B2B customers and the Fleet sector we quickly saw the opportunity that certain vehicles would need to be sanitised as much for compliance as for personnel safety and protection. There’s a range of services that start at $95. Secondly, car vehicle dealerships still trading also saw the opportunity to use more our sanitisation products and services to ensure their floor stock complied to acceptable safe levels of cleanliness for both staff and for customers.
- What problems have your customers experienced during COVID-19?
Again, state dependent, many of our customers shared the same pain COVID-19 delivered as a result of disruptive lockdowns and the uncertainties that came with it. Secondly being affected by their inability to trade as an essential service and thirdly operating in a state with close border lockdowns or where borders-within-borders were closed. Although MotorOne’s fleet business was less affected in the early months it has subsequently experienced a dip in revenue whilst uncertain times continue. Similarly, a reduction in vehicle repairs can be directly attributed to less vehicles on the road, read; less accidents read; less repairs.
- What feedback have you received from your customers?
Numerous examples of feedback and positive reviews on reputable platforms are by far our best form of advertising. Here’s just one from Product Review from late July:
MotorOne Exceptional Service: With the onset of COVID-19 there is a need to ensure your fleet is sanitised on a regular basis. Glenn assisted our business in selecting the best solution, came onsite and executed the plan with excellence. The team at MotorOne have a can-do culture. Jason Nicholas; Greater Melbourne (Outer), VIC
- Have you found a new audience and if so how have they responded?
Yes, we have found a new audience and the reaction has been extremely positive. Fundamentally we’re capitalising on the need for stringent vehicle sanitisation across a wide range of fleet operators, FMOs, car share businesses and Member Benefits organisations like NRMA AND RACQ. MotorOne Express Detailing and Sanitisation has proven to be both timely and effective and ideal for fleets where our mobile vans can visit a site and service significant numbers of vehicles in one day, in one location and competitively priced for volume.
- What are some of the ongoing challenges that you think will affect the automotive industry moving forward?
Primary challenges in the next 6 to 12 months will largely be predicated on individual state restrictions, especially Victoria where they’ll be a longer recovery period as a direct result of disruptive off-and-on lockdowns. Clearly there will be continued uncertainties around tenure of employment, unknowns regarding relatable government assistance, less disposable income and an automotive new and used car sales market in decline. Added to this, potential shortages of commodities are also likely to impact including but not limited to new vehicles & parts coupled with potential global uncertainties amongst our Asian trading partners.