Posted: 13/08/2020
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The long-established, Brisbane-based Oldmac Group, has opened a new service centre for its Mazda dealership at Springwood.

The company opened the stunning service hub in June and it is a major upgrade from its old service location.

The new premises – delivered by design, engineering and construction consultancy Multi Span Australia – offers a full range of services to customers, from scheduled maintenance to major overhauls and rebuilds, and has a number of top-of-the-line customer-friendly features and facilities, including full driveway service, a courtesy bus facility, early bird check-in, a waiting lounge, complimentary WiFi, and a café. And with brand new equipment and 17 hoists installed – with room for four more – the workshop is as state-of-the-art as it gets.

Moving into larger premises was a priority for the company, said Service Manager Ray Stewart. With the previous service centre at the same location as the Mazda dealership showroom, there was simply no space to extend the workshop.

“We were ‘land-locked’ and really had no room to expand,” said Ray. “We had 17 parking bays but were doing up to 65 cars each day and we were sharing those 17 parks with the new car, used car and spare parts departments. We had one door in and out of the workshop and putting 65 cars through there meant that could cause something of a bottleneck.”

The new service centre has enabled new processes to be introduced and allows for greater capacity and better workflow.

“It’s chalk and cheese now,” said Ray.

“We have gone from 12 bays to now having 17 bays with hoists, one spare bay and the provision to put in four more bays should we need to do so. And we are much more efficient here. We have one door in and three doors out, we have undercover parking and we have the driveway service, which is something we just couldn’t have at the old building.

“That driveway service means we have guys here before 7am each morning meeting customers and booking them in, and that speeds up the whole process.”

In the workshop itself, each technician is allocated a bay, which becomes their ‘personal’ work area – a feature that, Ray said, had proved a popular initiative at other Oldmac locations.

“Each technician has a bay and a hoist, and their name is on that bay,” he said. “This was something we started at our Redlands dealership and the guys there really enjoy having that responsibility. It gives them a sense of ownership over that bay and they show pride in where they are working.”

Allowances have also been made for future technologies. While Mazda has stated it will continue to have faith in and develop combustion engine technology, the company has dipped its toe into the electrification world with the MX-30 electric vehicle. Oldmac Mazda’s service centre does have the capability to incorporate charging station technology when and if it is required.

The new service centre is certainly being put through its paces – on the day of Motor Trader’s visit, 85 cars had been booked in – but earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown requirements across the community came into effect, it was something of a nervous time for the Oldmac team. However, there was no thought of delaying the build, and although servicing work did slow down, and there is a continuing question mark across the industry as a whole regarding the importation of parts, the pandemic has not had the impact once feared.

“We were more than halfway through the refurbishment when the pandemic hit, but we did not stop,” said Ray. “Our servicing work did reduce to maybe about 80 per cent of where we had been, but we weren’t impacted anywhere near as badly as we were expecting. It wasn’t as bad for our industry as it was for others and we were certainly fortunate to be classified as an essential service and were able to stay open.

“Parts are really the issue now, as it is for everyone,” he added. “There are delays on some parts, so lots of forward planning is required as, unfortunately, nothing in that line is being manufactured in this country.

“The lockdown did delay our opening here at the service centre by a couple of weeks because much of the tooling and items such as the scissor hoists came from Europe. However, things have been back to normal for quite a while now.”

The Oldmac Group was established in 1976 by Graham Oldham and Jock MacGregor and along with the Mazda dealership and service centre at Springwood, the Group comprises of a Mazda dealership at Redland as well as an MG and two Toyota dealership locations.

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