Their love for automotives comes naturally as a result of three generations of involvement in this business, starting with Michael Wright’s father, an entrepreneur, who established and operated a school bus system in the parish of St. Elizabeth.“My grandfather operated a bus company, and the buses had to be maintained; therefore, my father and uncle, from an early age, were involved in automotives,” tells Gregory Wright, Operations Manager, Auto Maintenance Limited.
The young Wrights moved to Kingston, where they started their own operation, along with Uncle Hugh, the elder of the two, establishing his enterprise first at the current location of Auto Maintenance Limited before moving nearby to 121 Maxfield Avenue.
“My father, Michael, was working along with Uncle Hugh, learning the business and gaining experience, and in 1985 he started his own auto repairs company at the current location on St. James Avenue.”
“I don’t think that I chose automotives, it chose me,” the 29-year-old says, as he leans back in his office chair, and a smile graced his face. “I have been in this shop since first form,” the Wolmerian continues. “During the summer or Christmas break, this was where I spent my time; and I grew into the business.”
Armed with a wealth of practical experience, from the years of working in the family business, Gregory sought and obtained certification, earning an Associate Degree from the American Technical Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida a few years ago.
“As part of a younger generation coming into the business, you want to take things to a new level; and you must ensure that you know what is right, so that you can guide workers who are not certified,” he says.
Auto Maintenance Limited has, therefore, grown since its establishment in 1985, offering a wide range of services to clients. The business, which was recently, certified a Jamaica Automobile Association Approved Auto Repairer, focuses on collision repairs, which mainly entails body repairs; body paint and auto re-finishing.
“However, we operate as a one stop shop; that is, if we do not offer a particular service in house, we will seek out that service for our clients,” Gregory informs.
The company employs 12 body repair men, body painters and a mechanic, most of whom are certified trough the Jamaican German Automotive School (JAGAS), and the company also accepts interns from JAGAS on a term basis.
“We take our reputation seriously. And, while our advertising is marginal, we rely on what customers say about our services, because it is what keeps old and new customers coming back,” Gregory adds.
He also endorsed the JAA Approved Auto Repairer programme, which was launched in late October, which assists garages to improve minimum standards in customer service, operation and administration.
To date, six Corporate Area garages, including Auto Maintenance Limited are already part of the programme and the JAA is currently working with others across the island to bring them under the programme.
“Our association with the JAA brand tells our customers that we offer services of a high quality; and that our services can be trusted,” Gregory noted, adding that it will also assist Auto Maintenance to raise and improve its service standards.
“This is a necessary initiative given the state of the automotive industry and we at Auto Maintenance welcome it,” he says.