A father and stepson duo of car repair technicians are celebrating after completing work on their 7,000th vehicle.
Robert Ashmore and Jonathan Foster, who run the ChipsAway Car Care Centre in Lincoln, have achieved the milestone just three weeks after emerging from a complete halt on operations, inflicted because of COVID-19.
Following a surge of enquiries for their services as the UK emerges from lockdown, Robert, who owns the centre, is hopeful 2020 will be his most successful year to date.
And to ensure the public can continue to access the Car Care Centre during the pandemic, he has enforced a stringent set of social distancing and sanitising protocols, including appointment-only customers, remote key drop offs and a deep clean of cars before and after their repair.
Originating as a mobile car scratch & bodywork repair service with ChipsAway in 2007, Robert would occasionally take stepson Jonathan to call outs, where the youngster began learning the trade.
In 2014, when Robert decided to open a ChipsAway Car Care Centre at Newporte Business Park, Jonathan became his first and only employee. Six years later, the duo still man the fort, and having struck the perfect balance of trade and consumer customers they are feeling optimistic about the future.
Robert said: “We completely closed for business on 23rd March – just like thousands of other businesses in the Lincoln area. We reopened three weeks ago when the lockdown started easing, and have since been inundated with people wanting to have their car scuffs, scratches, dents and alloys repaired.
“Because they’re not able to spend money on their favourite luxuries, like eating out and drinking in bars, we’re finding the public are wanting to spend their money on the next big luxury in their life – and that is their car. As a result, we are booked up into July, and are still receiving many more enquiries each day than we did before lockdown.
“To reach the milestone of working on our 7,000th vehicle proves we have our business model in great working order, and we’re very grateful to every customer we’ve had in the past, and anyone who comes through our doors in the future. We’re proud to have ridden out the storm of COVID-19 and are now very much open for business for the Lincoln public.”