COMMUNITY BREEDS SUCCESS
Long-time business owner says Parts4 membership can really add value for independent businesses
Chris McHale, owner of Quinlan’s Auto Spares in Albury and passionate Parts4 Automotive member, has witnessed significant changes in the automotive aftermarket, having spent more than 20 years in the industry.
“I’m the second generation to run the family business and wow, haven’t things changed in that time,” Chris said.
In partnership with two colleagues, Chris’s father, Colin, opened Quinlan’s Auto Spares in September of 1972.
Over the next 20 years, the three partners built a robust business until the sad day when Alby Quinlan passed in 1992.
“Alby was a great bloke, and of course, he lent his name to the business,” Chris said.
“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’re proud to continue not only his legacy, but Dad’s as well.”
Following Alby’s passing, Colin and his remaining partner rolled up their sleeves and shouldered the load, but in 1999 things changed again when Colin’s remaining business partner fell ill.
“I had just finished high school when Dad called and asked me if I could run the delivery van for a few days,” Chris said.
“He needed a hand because his remaining business partner, Rob, had fallen ill, and he was run off his feet.”
That ‘few days’ became a six-week casual job offer, and 22 years later, Chris and his wife Amanda now own the business and in 2006, they joined Parts4.
Chris explains that Parts4 provided the business with access to a more extensive range and competitive pricing.
Further, when Chris accepted a role on the committee, he says it really opened his eyes to just how much value Parts4 can add to an independent business.
“You can feel pretty isolated as an independent business owner, and I think that feeling is amplified if you’re located in a regional area,” Chris said.
“It can be overwhelming, especially when the big chains roll into town. It makes you feel like the problems are very much your problems and that you’re truly on your own.”
As soon as Chris joined the committee, he was introduced to several Parts4 members who shared similar experiences.
“The population of Albury-Wodonga is approximately 100,000 people, and they are spoilt for choice when it comes to automotive stores,” Chris said.
“For many years, it was just us, a couple of other independents and a Repco store in town, but over the last decade, competition has increased exponentially.”
Chris has been an active Parts4 committee member for more than five years. During that time, he said he has discovered the real benefits that tapping into a community of like-minded and engaged independent automotive business owners delivers.
“Now I have a community of people to talk to about the problems we all share, including freight and access to certain products in regional Australia,” Chris said.
Parts4 Automotive Pty Ltd group was formed to bring together a group of independent automotive businesses throughout Australia. Today, Parts4 has more than 80 members across Australia.
“The access to suppliers is exceptional, the rebate structure is fantastic, and membership is extremely cost-effective,” Chris said.
“But I believe joining the Parts4 community alone is more than worth the price of admission.
“It is empowering to know that there’s a whole group of people in the industry who have your back.”
To find out more about the benefits Parts4 Automotive delivers to members, contact Kim Mamouney on
0418 532 307 or email@example.com
For more information, visit www.parts4.com.au