NBRA’s first instalment of  Membership Spotlight takes a trip to Lancashire to meet Nick and Louise Gaskell, of Gaskell Motor Bodies…

Company Name: Gaskell Motor Bodies

Year Established : 1999

Number of Staff: 6 Members including Nick and Louise

  • What made you get into crash repair?

“Previously completed my apprenticeship with Hollands Pies, handpainting, & using gold leaf on their traditional ‘fleet of vans’, however I realised that corporate livery was a changing world, with leasing rather than ownership, and vinyl wrapping began to emerge.  I decided to move direction into car repairs and started off at a Volvo accident repair centre.”

  • Have you ever had a “nightmare job” and how did you fix it?

“My biggest nightmare job was buying a 4 acre piece of land and deciding to project manage the building of Gaskells, whilst running our Bodyshop from the old premises.  We encountered everything from, Gas Main pipes leaking, Planning Application issues, to arriving on site one morning to find 2 dozen animals had taken up residence on the land.”

  • What’s your biggest industry fear?

 – “There is a problem getting young people interested in the car body repair business.”

  • What aspirations do you have for your business?

“To build our customer base, and work with the customer to fulfil their expectations, and to carry on enjoying the car repair industry.”

  • What’s the most significant change you have experienced since you started?

 – “I suppose going back to what we started doing which was servicing retail customers, moving away from work providers.”

  • Best piece of advice anyone has given you?

 – “A very dear friend of ours, Mr Breakell, a successful businessman &  a British Racing Car Driver from the 60’s said, ‘you’ll never make anything renting premises, you need to get your own’. When we eventually moved in to our new building,  I can remember him calling in, with his flat cap on, wearing an old oily boilersuit, telling me ‘Well lad, you’ve done it’, I never told him how much of a headache the build had been.”

  • What advice would you give someone entering the industry today?

“You’ve got to have love and passion for the industry, look after your staff and customers, but always be prepared to listen and change.”

Are you interested in becoming the next Membership Spotlight?

Email NBRA at bodyshops@rmif.co.uk