A former Uber executive has started his own firm to offer a vehicle servicing scheme similar to what Uber Eats does with food.
My Auto Shop, which sends out drivers on e-scooters to collect cars in need of a service or repairs, launched in Auckland on Monday, with the aim of making looking after a car more convenient and cost-effective.
The Eden Terrace-based company has a fleet of about 10 branded e-scooters that its "driver partners" use to travel to pick up cars, that it operates through its own management software.
Through its website, users can book their vehicle in for a service, Warrant of Fitness (WOF) or repairs and receive an instant quote. The car is then collected, serviced and dropped back once work is complete.
The service is currently available from New Lynn, Mangere Bridge, Mt Wellington, the eastern bays, the inner city and all suburbs in between.
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Founder Andy Bowie was formerly country manager for Uber Eats in New Zealand. He finished up in the job in October last year following a restructure at the local division of the San Francisco-based ridesharing company.
Bowie, who worked for Uber for about five years, says he was given the opportunity to relocate to Sydney, but decided to finish up with the company and instead start his own venture.
He began working on the business, with third-year Auckland University engineering student Sasha Mates, in October last year and launched My Auto Shop earlier this week.
"We're trying to re imagine how vehicle maintenance and car repairs are done in New Zealand. It's a pretty traditional industry if you think about it, we have roughly 4600 independent garages across New Zealand, which are mainly father and son operations - it hasn't really changed much in the last 20 to 30 years," Bowie told the Herald.
"We've had some amazing technological advances in both data sets and logistics, with things like e-scooters enabling people to move really easily around the city. We've put those together and developed this business where we can solve a couple of challenging issues in the vehicle maintenance space."
Four days into launch, the company - which took inspiration from a similar business operating in Britain called Fixter - is a lean operation, and workplace pick-up locations had proven the most popular, Bowie said.
In addition to the pick-up and drop-office service, Bowie said My Auto Shop aimed to ensure "prices were transparent" and not over-priced.
"If one of our partner garages finds something that you might not have known about with your car, whether that be needing new brake pads or something like that, they call us first, and we can validate whether that is typical for that kind of car, and whether the price they are quoting for the repair is a fair market rate."
Bowie said while he was worked at Uber he started to think about how technology could streamline a lot of different industries and business models, prompting him to take a look at the country's automotive market.
"This is a very similar business model to Uber Eats, whereby instead of partner restaurants and delivery partners, we've got garages that we work with and drivers.
"It is a business model that has been proven and can be applied to a number of different industries that are relatively fragmented."
My Auto Shop hopes to scale its business to service the rest of Auckland, before it expands into Wellington and Christchurch.