Stratford's Ford service centre changed ownership at the start of this month.
It's the end of an era for Colleen Moore, Maurice Pretty and Peter Robinson, who have a combined total of 92 years in the business, which has been operating in Stratford for over seven decades.
When Colleen, Peter, and Maurice purchased Mountain Motors 11 years ago they were already all working in the business and wanted to see it continue on after previous owner Barry Holland passed away, says Peter.
"We were all working here and we decided to keep the firm going. Colleen became the office manger, I became the service manager and Maurice became parts manager. We knew it would work and it has worked really well."
Peter and Maurice had been working at the business for 14 years by then, while Colleen had already clocked up an impressive 31 years with the business, making it an easy decision for the trio to buy it when it became available. Eleven years later, they have never regretted that decision they say.
The business is the only Ford service centre in central Taranaki, and as such has always had plenty of loyal customers, says Peter.
"What keeps me in it is the wonderful staff and our customer base," says Colleen.
Maurice says the business has undergone a number of changes during their time of ownership.
"We puchased car rental agency Jamo Hire six years ago and sold it in October 2020. We moved our office from the front of the building to assist Jamo Hire and make the flow from office to workshop better."
Maurice says the three of them all believe in the importance of giving back to their community.
"We've done our bit to support those who support us. We donate anchor bolts to Plunket and get behind a number of local sporting and community groups. We're very community focused."
While Maurice and Colleen are retiring, Peter is staying on at the business as service manager.
"I wanted to stay on and see the change through. All the staff are staying on which was very important to us. We've had very minimal staff turnover. Over the past 11 years we've only had one staff member leave," Peter says.
Colleen and Maurice are still going to be busy, they say.
Colleen says she is planning to spend more time with her grandchildren.
"I'm looking forward to having the time to make wonderful memories with them."
Maurice says he will start some new hobbies.
"There will be plenty to do."
On April 1 Jack Hywood and Sarah Williams took ownership of Mountain Motors, and Colleen says she is confident Taranaki's Ford owners, and the rest of Mountain Motors' loyal customers, will be well looked after.
"We wish them all the best with the continuation of the Ford service centre and we're positive the business will be in great hands. We want to thank the wonderful community for supporting us and hope they support the new owners as well."