If you asked Andre Hylton what excites him most about automotives, his response would be, “Finding a solution to a challenge that sometimes seem impossible.”
Finding solutions is a passion that he has had since childhood; and he would add special features to toy cars and trucks built from juice boxes or from wood to make them seem more real.
“When I got a little older I started to use bearings and started to cover them and to make cars with suspensions and I remember I was on a quest at one point to put in a little engine,” the auto repairer reminisces. “I actually took a motor from a lawn mower and built a little go-kart.”
More than 30 years later, Mr. Hylton, who now operates his own auto parts and motor vehicle repair company, Andre’s Auto Supplies, has not lost his love for the discipline.
“Auto repairing is quite complex, requiring a solution-oriented thinker to do an efficient job,” Mr. Hylton explains. “It keeps you on your toes.” And, given the wide range of motor vehicles in Jamaica, very high level skills are required to repair them, he says.
“Auto repairing requires solutions… from diagnosing to executing the repairs, because in this industry, whatever can go wrong will go wrong, as everyday there is a challenge.”
It is against this background that Andre’s, located at 16 Osbourne Road in St. Andrew, has continually sought to employ only the most skilled technicians who can offer high standards of service, Mr. Hylton says. The 17 year-old company employs six trained technicians and three apprentices, as well as three consultants.
Recently the company took its commitment to quality a step further and became a Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), Approved Auto Repairer. The programme launched by the JAA late last month, aims to improve the standards of service offered by garages operators across the island; and, assist them to establish best practices in their business operations and administration.
“We recognize that quality service is a must, if we are to survive in this industry,” Mr. Hylton says. “Therefore we thought it best to partner with the JAA, which shares our vision to offer motorists the best service possible.”
Andre’s, which sells genuine Mazda and Japanese parts, offers motor vehicle servicing. And it incorporates a number of techniques to keep customers happy, which include, sending text message reminders to clients to remind them to service their vehicles.
“We train our employees consistently because quality is the cornerstone of our business.”
He commends the programme established by the JAA and says that, in addition to improving service it could also help to strengthen motor repairers in their efforts to influence some key policies that govern the industry.
“The JAA could lobby government and other stakeholders to have policies created that serve the interest of motor repairers and motorists generally,” he says. That could include re-visiting the current stance on issues such as duty structures applied to the importation of motor vehicles.
“The JAA’s programme is robust and it will serve the industry and JAA members very well,” Mr. Hylton says.