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Trade Me Invests In Auto-repair Start Up, My Auto Shop

New Zealand’s largest online marketplace and classifieds site, Trade Me, has taken a 15 per cent stake in the automotive repair start up, My Auto Shop.

My Auto Shop was founded in January 2020 by Ex-Uber Eats New Zealand General Manager Andy Bowie, with the goal to make car maintenance easier for car owners.

CEO of My Auto Shop, Andy Bowie said whether it be new tyres, a service, brake repair or windscreen replacement, you can find the right workshop for you and see a price for the work, all in just a couple of clicks. “The new generation of car owners don’t have a decade-long loyalty to their local mechanic, nor do they want to pick up the phone and ring around the neighbourhood. We make it easy for them to keep their cars rolling safely, with added price transparency, all from their smartphone.”

My Auto Shop has a network of over 250+ independent mechanics, auto-electricians, tyre, glass and other automotive professionals around the country that can be booked through an online marketplace. A common concern car owners have is the feeling of being ripped off by a mechanic. “We’ve been able to utilize a huge amount of data from local and international sources over the last year to generate tailored prices on repairs, specific to any type of vehicle. This removes that anxious, blank-cheque book feeling when you hand your keys over to a mechanic, unsure what the bill might look like at the end. Customers now have certainty that they’re paying the right price for the work they need done on their car.

“It’s really exciting to start working with the team at Trade Me. They’re the place Kiwis look first to buy or sell a vehicle and have built a seamless user experience for both sides of the market,” Mr Bowie said.

Head of Trade Me Motors Jeremy Wade said the partnership was a logical plugin for the website. “We’re always looking for ways we can make it easier for the 670,000 Kiwis who visit us everyday to find the things they want or need. We know that vehicle maintenance can be a real pain point for car-owners and we reckon the solution that My Auto Shop has come up with is awesome.”

Mr Wade said the team were attracted to the My Auto Shop business for a number of reasons. “22 years ago Trade Me was also a tech start-up, inspired by a young and ambitious Kiwi so naturally the businesses have a lot in common. Andy and the team put the customer at the heart of what they do. Customer aroha is incredibly important to us at Trade Me too, so it was easy to find alignment in our values.”

The impact of COVID-19 on My Auto Shop

Like many Kiwi businesses My Auto Shop had a pretty bumpy year in 2020. After founding the business in January, they promptly had to turn it off like a lot of businesses during the nationwide lockdown.

“We were just starting to find our feet, then had to hit the brakes pretty quick,” said Mr Bowie.

“Fortunately, being a small, online business we didn’t have huge overheads or staff costs to navigate, so we used the time to focus on what we could improve going forward. The rest of the year was a fun time of trial and error, to see how we could build the best offering for Kiwis. We think we’re getting close to that now.”

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