Karamu Holden - Key player in HB's motor industry

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Karamu Holden - Key player in HB's motor industry

For over 50 years Karamu Holden has been a key player in the Hawke’s Bay motor industry. They pride themselves on their strong client relationships and loyal customer base. People are a huge focus in their business.

In April 2018 Dave, Aileen and their family moved from Auckland to take over the ownership of Karamu Holden. It’s become a family affair as Aileen joins Dave and now works in the finance and insurance side of the business. After speaking with Dave recently, it became apparent that he is the best man to carry on the values and traditions of which Karamu Holden has been built.

As a child Dave grew up in the 70’s, a time when oil prices were soaring, unemployment rising and an economic recession to deal with, however despite these challenges we were still a nation that found it easy to laugh at ourselves as we had Fred Dagg who reminded us “she’ll be right”.

He remembers around this time that General Motors had two assembly plants in Wellington and that everyone drove Holdens. He said “Holdens were mainstream - good quality vehicles at affordable prices”.

Dave started in the car industry in the early 80’s as a parts boy when he was 19 years old. He remembers how his first manager took him under his wing and provided instructions around how he would spend his wages. The manager opened him a bank account and set up a budget for him. Although Dave was grateful for his direction at the time (it allowed him to purchase his first house only two years later), he says “he was a kind of life mentor, but you couldn’t do it the same way nowadays”

Over the years Dave has worked for various dealerships but has found Holden to have an environment that is best aligned with his work ethics. He says “they are very people focussed, supportive and easy to deal with. You want to work with people who are passionate about what they do and Holden seems to bring that out in people”

Throughout his career he has received many accolades and has been fortunate to celebrate these successes around the world. Some of these awards include #1 dealer in 2007 – 2014, #1 HSV dealer 2007 – 2014, and Holden’s Grand Master’s Chairman’s award (the top result from all the Tier 1 dealerships) 2014 – 2016. The list actually goes on and on. When asked how he achieved these amazing results he said “I’m pretty lucky as I get the awards but it’s the team who has earned them. We don’t do it for the accolades; we do it because we are passionate about what we do.”

One aspect of business that Dave enjoys is seeing the young people coming into the industry and achieving their goals “If you treat young people like adults, they will achieve more than you think they can”, he says

When asked what makes a great business, Dave replies,”you can get a really good gauge on how well your business is doing when people want to work for you. You want your employees to want to come to work and love what they are doing. When you get phone calls from people wanting to work for you, that’s when you know you are doing it right. We just want to be the best at what we do.”

Away from Holden, Dave likes to spend time with his wife and his two teenage children “I like being with my kids, although they may not like hanging out with me so much.” He said moving to the Bay was a really a good decision “it’s an easy place to live, the people are friendly, people have time and I think that makes a huge difference. I suspect the Hawke’s Bay way of life has been a bit of secret but the secret’s out now!”

So what is the plan for the future? Dave said that they are going to continue doing what they have always done, be the best at what they do and support people. So if you’re passing by or in the market for a new vehicle we suggest you pop in and meet Dave, Aileen and the team at Karamu Holden. We wish them all the very best for their future in the Bay.

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