Trade Me, New Zealand’s largest online marketplace and classifieds site, has taken a 15 percent stake in auto repair start-up, My Auto Shop.
My Auto Shop was founded in January 2020 by former Uber Eats New Zealand Managing Director Andy Bowie with the aim of making car maintenance easier for car owners.
My Auto Shop CEO Andy Bowie said it was new tires, service, brake repair or windshield replacement, you can find the workshop that suits you and see a price for the job, all with a few clicks. “The new generation of car owners don’t have a ten-year loyalty to their local mechanic, nor do they want to pick up the phone and ring the bell in the neighborhood. We allow them to drive their cars in complete safety, with increased price transparency, all from their smartphone. “
My Auto Shop has a network of over 250 independent mechanics, automotive electricians, tire and glass professionals and other automotive professionals across the country who can be booked through an online marketplace. A common concern of car owners is the feeling of getting ripped off by a mechanic. “We have been able to use a huge amount of data from local and international sources over the past year to generate tailor-made repair prices specific to any type of vehicle. It does away with that anxious blank checkbook feeling when you hand your keys to a mechanic, not knowing what the bill might look like in the end. Customers can now be sure they are paying the right price for the work they need on their cars.
“It’s really exciting to start working with the Trade Me team. This is where the Kiwis look first to buy or sell a vehicle and have built a seamless user experience for both sides of the market,” he said. Mr Bowie said.
Trade Me Motors director Jeremy Wade said the partnership makes a logical plug-in for the website. “We’re always looking for ways to make it easier for the 670,000 Kiwis who visit us every day to find the things they want or need. We know that vehicle maintenance can be a real problem for car owners and we think the solution offered by My Auto Shop is great.
Mr. Wade said the team was drawn to the My Auto Shop business for a number of reasons. “22 years ago Trade Me was also a technology start-up, inspired by a young and ambitious Kiwi, so naturally companies have a lot in common. Andy and the team put the customer at the heart of their work. The client’s aroha is also extremely important to us at Trade Me, so it was easy to find alignment with our values.
The impact of COVID-19 on My Auto Shop
Like many Kiwi businesses, My Auto Shop has had a pretty hectic year in 2020. After founding the business in January, they quickly had to shut it down like many businesses during the nationwide lockdown.
“We were just starting to find our bearings and then we had to brake pretty quickly,” Bowie said.
“Fortunately, being a small online business, we didn’t have a huge overhead or huge staff to navigate, so we used the time to focus on what we could improve on in the future. The rest of the year was a fun time of trial and error to see how we could come up with the best deal for the Kiwis. We think we’re getting close to it now.
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