Viking Mechanical owner Darrin Keates and general manager Amy Wilson. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer
Viking Mechanical owner Darrin Keates and general manager Amy Wilson. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer

WORKERS WANTED: Mechanic’s plan to beat downturn

WHILE many businesses have had to lay off staff to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, a Mackay-based mechanic is thinking differently.

Viking Mechanical owner Darrin Keates said the workshop was looking to build a network of support staff to combat the downturn.

"We're anticipating more and more big organisations may shut their doors for a while," Mr Keates said.

"We are talking with local dealers and the dealers north in Townsville to be able to support their clients if they close - that is why we've put out an expression of interest for technicians to come and join us."

Although it is unusual for a privately owned mechanical business to work alongside large corporate dealers, general manager Amy Wilson explained the idea was to form partnerships that looked after dealer customers if dealers didn't have access to staff or needed to close.

Part of the businesses' plan is to offer a local maintenance option for the region's executive car owners whose vehicles are currently serviced out of Townsville.

"We are reaching out to the market not supported in the Mackay region currently to save them the travel," Mr Keates said.

"It is for (customers) who may not be able to or don't want to travel."

The company directly employs 16 people across two offices in Mackay and Brisbane.

Mr Keates estimates his business is made up of 60 per cent commercial clients.

"Our direct responsibility is to keep everyone in a job, and to make sure they are supported

we have to keep our doors open," he said.

"It is the knock-on effect. You close one business and yes, that is very unfortunate. But suddenly their supplier has to rethink their future and the guy behind him has to rethink also.

"That is why we are focused on ensuring our survival, so that we can support the community so it can survive too."


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