CELEBRATING 21 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
In 2022, Parts4 Automotive is celebrating 21 years of operation
It is February 2001. You are enjoying a quiet drink at the bar in the York on Lilydale. A group of people walk in, all of whom look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.
They go into a meeting room, and you return to your drink. A good chunk of time passes before you see them again. The group come out, shaking hands, slapping each other on the back, before leaving with grins from ear-to-ear, along with an unmistakable sense of purpose.
Little do you know; you’ve just witnessed history in the making and the birth of Parts4 Automotive.
Fast forward to the present day, and you’ll find more than 80 Parts4 Automotive members across Australia celebrating 21 years of successful retailing.
To help us chart the group’s history, we caught up with Christina Hundahl. She was at that meeting with her husband Prab, Geoff Cooper from Benalla and nine other independent automotive business owners back in 2001 when the Parts4 Automotive seed was sewn.
It’s true what they say, some people spend their entire life striving for recognition, while others have responsibility thrust upon them, and Christina certainly falls into the latter group.
“As it turned out, accompanying Prab to the meeting that fine February day proved to be fortuitous,” Christina remarked.
“Geoff Cooper was elected President, a committee had been formed, and I ended up being the first Parts4 employee, walking out of the York having been given the role of Secretary for the group, and with a glimpse of my family’s future.”
Twenty-one years later, Christina is still the Parts4 Secretary and Administration Manager, and her son Kristain now runs the family Parts4 store in Ocean Grove, but the rest of the business has changed significantly.
“I can still remember the day my husband, Geoff Cooper from Benalla and nine other independent automotive business owners met to discuss how they could join forces and combine their buying power to ease some of the pressure from the big chains,” Christina said.
“And 21 years later, there’s no doubt that the vision to form a group of truly independent automotive businesses has been realised.”
Today, Parts 4 Automotive says its members across Australia enjoy the benefits of being part of this powerful buying group while at the same time remaining fiercely independent.
Parts4 states that its model is attractive, allowing members to purchase stock at competitive pricing, providing them access to marketing and promotional activities, and helping secure their future in a highly competitive industry.
“We’re not here to profit from our members. We’re here to help members to compete out in the marketplace,” Christina described.
“More and more independents realise that they need to be part of some sort of group so that they can survive. And that’s the benefit of joining Parts4 because they belong to a group but then still have control over their business.”
Parts 4 Automotive members also enjoy a rebate program with national suppliers and low annual fees without being tethered to a lock-in contract.
“Our rebates program delivers so much value to members,” Christina said.
“Thanks to our committee and Kim, our BDM, it runs pretty smoothly.
“But wow, it has come a long way. I remember the first time we provided our members with a supplier rebate return. It wasn’t cash; it was a set of seat covers.
“Today, we pay our members rebates twice a year. The money paid out is a significant amount and growing each year, and the members get to reinvest it back into their business.”
In addition to an attractive rebate program, Parts4 Automotive states that its members receive assistance to pay for signage and get a uniform allowance once they have been a member for 12 months.
“We are committed to helping our members professionally present their businesses,” Christina said.