Showroom dreams come true for mechanic who started business from parents' garage
- Credit: Georgia Barrow
A Citroen enthusiast has opened a new showroom in Hitchin - a labour of love after starting his career working on cars from his parents' garage in his late teens.
Rob Moss and the team at Chevronic Centre Ltd, in Wilbury Way, welcomed MP Bim Afolami to do the honours in officially opening the shining new showroom with a ribbon cutting.
The new front of house facility is extension of the existing workshop towards the back of the property, where the team restore and repair Citroen vehicles old and new for loyal customers - some of whom travel from as far as mainland Europe.
The company also makes and exports parts for older Citroen models all over the world - a long way from Rob's beginnings in his parent's garage!
"Working from home didn't really go down well with the neighbours!" Rob told the Comet.
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"So, I got myself a little workshop in Arlesey and it was a one-man operation. Slowly but surely, after six months or so, I was able to take on my first member of staff."
By 2006, Rob was able to repurpose his current workshop in Hitchin, and renovated it, before moving the business over in 2009.
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"People at lot of the smaller Citroen garages and independent garages were retiring," Rob said. "We started to find people coming from further afield. In the last 12 years, we've had people coming from all over the country, and Europe."
Rob, who works alongside wife Lisa, sister in-law Cheryl, and two sons James and Miles, recounted anecdotes from some of his longest standing customers, who he said have become more like family.
Car lover Rob continued: "It's become a bit of a mecca for people - if people are in the country they like to come here and visit us.
"We had this one lady who had a 1950s Citroen and spent thousands having it repaired and restored to make it road worthy. When she came to pick it up, on her way home someone smashed into the back of her and completely wrote it off.
"She named her car Daisy, and she said to me, 'Rob, do you mind if Daisy comes back to Chevronic to spend her last days with other cars like her?' There are extremely passionate owners, something I've never seen in any other vehicle."
On working so closely with his family, Rob added: "To see my 16-year-old son working on a 1949 car - it's wonderful seeing him learn how they were put together.
"It's a dream to get a showroom, and it's been an uphill battle to get here. It's a wonderful feeling knowing we got here in the end."
MP Bim Afolami said: "It's such a pleasure to be here to open the Chevronic Centre's new showroom and it's great to meet the family and team here. Congratulations, and I wish you every success.
"This isn't just another local business, it has an international footprint and exports parts to all over the world."