30 YEARS ON: Still going strong after 'taking a punt'
HE'S seen plenty of change both in Gladstone and around the globe during three decades in business, but Curtis Coast Automotive owner Errol Roots has ridden a wave of success during that time.
After "taking a punt" with Nev Callaghan (of DC Motors) and using Gary Lenz's workshop, they brought the Nissan brand to Gladstone in 1989.
"We opened a Nissan dealership here in June 1989, got the official notification in July '89 and started with seven staff," Mr Roots said.
"Since then we've grown. We had rented premises at 9 Toolooa St, bought that (building) and surrounding ones and got bigger and bigger.
"In 1990 we got the Hyundai franchise which was a new franchise in the country at the time so we grew with it and it grew with us, and we've had the Nissans and Hyundais since then.
"Obviously staff got bigger, sales got bigger and parts got bigger, so we had to grow into a bigger organisation and employ more people."
The dealership has operated at 231 Dawson Hwy since 2012 under the name of Gladstone Nissan and Hyundai.
But after taking on two more brands - Foton and Ssangyong - during that time, Mr Roots said it was time for the tongue-twisting business name to change.
"We've recently taken on the Foton franchise, which is a rugged 4WD ute and 2WD 4.5t truck and in the last couple weeks we've been awarded the Ssangyong franchise which is SUVs, dual cabs and people movers.
"So we now have four franchises under the one umbrella here as well as our service, parts, finance and our used cars all at one location."
Mr Roots urged potential buyers to consider Foton and Ssangyong, comparing them to brands such as Kia and Hyundai when they first hit the market.