Smart repairs move into top gear with crucial staff hires

Dan Besau and Phil Newstead

Smart Repairs, the country’s largest independent cosmetic vehicle repairer, has announced a raft of new appointments as it expands throughout the UK.

The Leeds-based company, which recently bought 18,000 sq ft freehold premises in Weaver Street, is hiring 100 new technicians across the country this year.

This is a result of a record-breaking 2021, which saw turnover rise to £5m from £3m in 2020, despite the challenges of Covid. This year turnover is forecast to soar to £7m, with net profit set to exceed seven figures.

Smart Repairs, which boasts most of Yorkshire’s major car dealerships among its clients, is co-owned by its founder Dan Besau and major investor Phil Newstead. The company carries out 180,000 vehicle repairs a year.

One key appointment for the Leeds business is 51-year-old Pete Read, who is heading up a new team of 11 technicians, focussed on serving the south of England. He said: “The rate at which this company is growing is phenomenal. We had a team of just one in the south six months ago.  Now we have 11 – with another new starter arriving next week.

“The demand for our services, from the South Coast to Watford, from Milton Keynes to Kent, is increasing at an extraordinary rate. It’s sometimes difficult to keep pace. But it’s incredibly satisfying working for such a successful and popular company like Smart Repairs.

“A key part of Smart Repairs’ success is the way they treat their staff. This is a dream of a company to work for. You couldn’t wish for better bosses than Phil and Dan. That, in turn, translates into the friendly, positive and efficient service we provide for our customers, so it’s a win-win situation.

Other new hires include Dale Lang, Lee Ansell, Dan Southgate and Glen Smith.

Phil Newstead said: “We are delighted to welcome Pete and his team aboard. These are very accomplished technicians, whose experience and expertise will provide a consistently excellent service to our customers.

“They will also enhance the Smart Repairs brand and raise our profile across the South and the South East. And, if everything goes to plan, and it certainly is at the moment, we will be expanding into the South West.

“These are tremendously exciting times for the company. The move to our superb new Falcon House premises in Weaver Street, close to Leeds city centre, has given us much more space and has put us in charge of our destiny.

“Clearly the global pandemic had its challenges last year, but one of its consequences was a boom in the second-hand car market, which naturally led to a great deal more work for us. We managed to stay open and working most of the time, despite the difficulties of the various lockdowns.

“We are expanding across the UK this year, with a special focus on the M25, Essex, the North West, the North East and Scotland. We are now hiring experienced mobile technicians to help with this expansion drive, which will see full UK coverage by the end of the year.

“We can both see that our future is in providing a quality repair offering across all of the UK, to warranty companies, insurers, dealer groups and vehicle remarketing companies,” he added.

Dan Besau, a proud Yorkshireman, originally from Picketing, said: “It has given me tremendous pleasure to see how the company I founded in 1995 has developed. We have gone from strength to strength in recent years. The mobile business has proved popular and successful and, when I spotted a gap in the market for high-end alloy wheel repairs, I had the confidence to go for that, too.

“We already have a formidable client list, including many of the quality Yorkshire dealerships such as Bentley Leeds; BMW Leeds, Harrogate, York and Bradford; Mercedes Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and York; Ferrari Leeds; Aston Martin Leeds; and Audi York and Harrogate.

He added: “With Phil now on board, the sky is the limit. The future is incredibly bright. Let’s bring it on.”




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