Independent company proud to go it alone
In a world where multi-national franchises dominate, Invercargill company Southern Brakes and Driveline has kept a niche as a locally owned and operated company with specialist skills and knowledge.
Operating from Clyde St for nearly 20 years, it was started as an independent stand-alone company and has been owned by Luke Nicol since 2009. Luke says there is more to the business that what appears obvious in its name.
“There’s still a lot of people that don’t understand fully what we do,” Luke says. The company is not only a product supplier, but also a repairer and manufacturer of parts related to brakes and drivelines.
“Anything you can’t get off the shelf these days we can either rebuild or remanufacture them. We make handbrake cables, rebond brake shoes and make brake hoses for example. There’s generally not a lot that we can’t make up.”
Because of this, Southern Brakes and Driveline attracts business from classic and vintage car enthusiasts who cannot buy existing manufactured parts, however much of the work it undertakes is trade-based.
Because it operates independently it can source a number of different brands of parts for the specific needs of clients.
The Southern Brakes and Driveline team pride themselves on excellent customer service and ability to resolve issues for clients.
“They achieve this by applying their industry knowledge and experience to every job be it big, involving the workshop, or small such as sourcing a particular part.
“These skills have been gained from having both the parts side of the business, and the practical hands-on workshop side of things.” “A lot of work comes in from garages who need parts, but we are also able to complete a lot of repairs for them.”
This is a key difference and a commercial advantage over franchise businesses, Luke says.
It’s workshop equipment includes brake rollers for testing the effectiveness of vehicle brakes, brake disc and drum lathes.
Luke believes its hose machine, used for manufacturing both conventional and braided hydraulic brake hoses of many sizes, is the only one available south of Dunedin.
Southern Brakes and Driveline is a supplier of Trojan trailer and towing components such as axles and suspensions, braking, couplings, hardware and security, hubs and drums, jockey wheels and stands, lighting and electrical, tow balls and towing aids.
It is also an agent for Mount Shop which stock a wide range of rubber engine mounts and engine bushes.
“We also have a good selection of oil from Elf and Eni – for your lawnmower and car, right through to commercial trucks.” “We have a good, loyal trade client base, but also get, and welcome walk-in retail customers.”