The motor trade has changed dramatically in the last forty years so any company that has managed to stay on top in its business sector during this time must be doing something right. Established in 1975 Nixon Car Spares has been one of the pioneering operations in the vehicle dismantler sector. Under the direction of Roy Nixon it has very much moved with the times and today is a thriving parts supply and recycling operation. One of the constants throughout all this has been Roy himself, who today remains as hands on as ever dealing with customers.
The business is based just outside Lisnaskea in Co. Fermanagh and was started originally in one small garage. Fast growing demand saw it expand in 1979 to a former farmhouse, yard and buildings. This yard has been expanded four times in the last 35 years to accommodate more vehicles and stock and was further added to in 1992 with the purchase of another farm half a mile away. This was completely renovated to accommodate six large warehouses and workshops. Between the two facilities Nixon Car Spares has an extensive range of car parts available from all the biggest makes and models. In fact over 1,500 cars, vans and other vehicles are being dismantled at anyone time.
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Today the company has a team of nine staff and Roy says it is their dedication and loyalty that has been key to the company’s ongoing success. He comments, “The staff team is like an extended family. Most have been with us for many years and this means they have great knowledge and experience of our operations and the parts we sell.” Brian Phair, started with the company way back in 1977, while James O’Rourke and John Flynn joined in 1982 and 1983 respectively. Brian’s son Peter now works with him in the upper yard, while Paddy Vaughan and six staff look after the bottom yard. Kevin (Scotty) Robinson manages the back office and Roy’s daughter Alyson manages the books and the important area of environmental legislation.
Roy has always taken his environmental responsibilities seriously. He says, “We were the first car dismantlers to achieve a waste licence in Ireland in 2004. In 2005 we purchased a Lloni car baler to dispose of all car bodies in an environmentally friendly manner and a further waste licence was achieved in 2006 for the upper yard.” Roy says he has a good relationship with his local authority, although he does have some concerns about the continued existence of unlicensed dismantlers.
Roy believes that key to the success of the business over the years has been good customer service. He comments, “We will always go out of our way to get customers want they want and this has meant we have built up a very loyal customer base over 40 years.”
One of the big changes in this time has been how the business has developed from an essentially local operation to a national, or in some cases international, supplier and two factors have been key to this. Roy says, “In April 1979, I heard of Frank Falvey a gentleman from Galway who was selling a book called Crash Car Monthly. He saw a better future for the car dismantlers in Ireland. Pre-internet CCM, which went on to become Autobiz, revolutionised the car breaking business in Ireland. We have advertised every month since and it has definitely works for us.”
The second major change has been the advent of the internet. Roy is the first to admit that he is not the most computer literate, but he was quick to recognise the massive potential of selling online. He says, “Customers vising our website can search our extensive car parts database and find the parts they need quickly. With the internet you can even sell things as you sleep.”
Kevin Robinson (Office Manager) plays a key role in managing the online side of the business. He comments, “The internet allows us to sell parts right across Ireland and the UK and in some cases internationally. It also means we can offer a huge diversity of items and because of our effective courier delivery services we can have those items with the customer the next day.”
Roy says that demand for quality recycled parts is now healthier than ever with customers not just attracted by cost savings, but in many cases better availability and convenience when it comes to items such as coloured body panels. The company also now offers new parts for the convenience of customers such as starters, callipers, window regulators and panels. Roy comments, “It is all about customer service. We don’t like to say no to customers and we find offering certain new parts is something they really appreciate.”
"Demand for quality recycled parts is now healthier than ever"
Nixon Car Spares celebrates 40 years of service