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Family dealership unveils new brand
THIS MONTH, THE BEER AUTO GROUP PUT THE FINISHING TOUCHES TO ITS NEW EMILY STREET ISUZU DEALERSHIP, WHICH IS BIG NEWS FOR THE LOCAL CAR MARKET, AS THE BEER FAMILY CONTINUES TO INVEST IN THE TOWN AND REGION
For Greg Beer, managing director of Beer Auto Group, the glass is always half full.
And to borrow another short statement expressing a general truth: when one door closes another door opens.
To illustrate this point in real life, at the start of last year when General Motors, owner of Holden, pulled the pin for good on the iconic Aussie motoring brand, Greg immediately recognised the opportunity in front of him.
While he and his staff were dealing with the emotion and fallout of Holden’s demise, Greg’s mind was already focussed on a solution, which would take time, but not only would it be a great fit for the group, which he and his father, Neil, built together, it would complement the local car market.
So, after several months of back-
Greg said he and the staff are excited about the opening and looking forward to showcasing their new cars to customers.
Regional Victorians love their utes and the D-
Isuzu Ute Australia has been looking at Seymour for some time because they see it as a local growth market for their global brand.
Greg said the new five-
Greg said Isuzu utes are exceptionally popular, reliable, look great and are competitively priced.
He said the badge will be an important addition to their growing portfolio, which includes Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Polaris.
The vehicles come with a 5-
Greg said demand in the dual-
He said in their first four weeks of trading Isuzus they sold 35 vehicles against company expectations of 15.
Speaking more broadly about the local economy and consumer activity, Greg said Seymour was performing strongly and he thinks he knows why.
“People can’t go overseas right now, or they don’t want to, and interest rates are historically low, which means money is cheap,” he said.
“As well as government incentives, including asset write-
Greg said as a business owner, in any industry and at any level, you’re always looking down the road at what might be around the corner and how you can turn any setback into good fortune and long-
Road Ahead Paved With Opportunity
Not the demise of Holden, nor a global pandemic can hold a father and son team back, who both see bright economic times ahead for Seymour and the region.
Anyone involved in a family business will tell you that it’s not like any other business.
And we all know someone, who has a horror story, about how this family operation folded because of competing personalities and uncontrolled emotions, which got in the way of sound decision-
For decades, Neil Beer Seymour, a distinguished name in local car sales, has been successfully going about its business because father and son work as one, focussed on clear goals, with good intentions, and they listen to what the other is saying.
Father, Neil, and son, Greg, will both tell you that this year, 2020, will be a year to forget and remember.
A year to forget because of coronavirus and the downfall of the iconic, Aussie motoring brand, but it’s also the year that their baby, which they have built together, will be transformed into something bigger and better, which will ensure this family business has a long future ahead of it.
This week, the Telegraph sat down with Greg Beer, to get his reflections on an incredible 2020, his family’s long association with the region and what’s around the corner for the local dealership.
Greg said they’re currently in the middle of a significant upgrade of their Emily Street site, which will increase their workshop capacity, as well as their range of brands and the size of their showrooms to satisfy demand post-
“We have just put the finishing touches on a new, eight-
Greg admits there were a few sleepless nights when the state went into lockdown.
He said the suddenness of the COVID-
“It was pretty tough, yes, and our business dropped by about 50%, which was very tough on the staff, but we are now back to about 80% capacity."
Greg said he and the team had been overwhelmed, and pleasantly surprised, by the level of customer and community support during coronavirus.
The dealership, which has always called Emily Street home, was established in the early 1960s by prominent local, Bernie Smit.
Neil, who is originally from Kerang, had been involved in the car industry for many years in Melbourne and wanted his own dealership as well as being closer to family.
Neil married Jan Lawrance, a Yea local, who came from a successful farming family, with roots going back to the early 1900s.
Neil purchased the business in 1980 and managed to navigate the economic turmoil of the late 1980s and early 1990s thanks, in large part, to the loyalty of his customers, who responded to his gentle, giving, nature and willingness to go that extra mile, to do more than one is required to do.
Greg said selling cars is like selling anything; your customers are your greatest advertisement because you live and die by referrals and word of mouth.
Today, those customers, and many of them repeat customers, help employ 43 staff, who contribute to a company that has an annual turnover of $30 million.
In 2003, Greg came back to Australia after a three-
In 2012, he started purchasing the business off his father and, today, is the major shareholder.
In 2015, Greg expanded and brought Nissan and Subaru in and the following year took-
But like COVID-
So, when the news came through earlier this year that the Holden-
“I was actually in America at a conference when the news came through," he said.
“I went through a lot of emotions at the time, as did every Holden dealer, I’m sure, as well as anyone one who drives a Holden, or just loves the brand, but when one door closes another one opens."
He said it’s a big change for the automotive industry and, unfortunately, all the hard work of Holden staff across the state, and the rest of the country, had not been enough to overcome the economic reality.
Greg added that, ultimately, it was a business decision by General Motors, Holden’s parent company, but he said you can’t help but feel for all those people directly affected and their families.
So, what has been the secret of Neil’s and Greg’s success.
Greg said when you run a business in a country town you form strong emotional connections with your customers, who become your friends, and some of them your very good friends.
He said all car dealers have a common goal, which is to sell cars, and they’re passionate about doing it.
He said everyone in the industry knows each other and are great friends and they bring this same level of excitement and enthusiasm to the shop floor.
Greg said selling cars, particularly in the bush, is a very personal thing, which means you need to spend time with people -
Dug deep for kids
The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal once again resulted in the Seymour community donating $29,500.
The combined volunteer Country Fire Authority brigades of Seymour and Tallarook, State Emergency Service Seymour and Seymour Guides were knocking on doors and rattling tins across the town for this worthy cause.
For almost 60 years, Mick Sanderson has been volunteering his time during the year to raise funds for the appeal.
As the Good Friday Appeal Seymour area manager, Mr Sanderson was thrilled to see the fundraising efforts of the community.
Painting eggs is an important tradition in the country and techniques and motifs vary from region to region.
'‘I was really pleased with the money we got,'' he said.
'‘Especially considering the year we’ve had where people dug deep for the farmers and drought appeals.
'‘Each year I see the same people doing the same jobs around town and I’m very appreciative of their support.
When there are this many Easter eggs, you need at least two baskets to carry them all. For this list, we’re taking a look at more hidden details and references that likely eluded you in this animated sequel. If there are any Easter eggs you think we missed, be sure to check out our original video.
'‘Let’s hope we can keep the event going and I hope to see more volunteers coming down next year to be a part of the fundraising efforts.''
The Easter egg hunt Neil Beer Motors arranged raised $1000.
During the year the fundraising efforts for the Good Friday Appeal do not stop.
Collection tins are in prominent positions in many Seymour businesses and contributed a substantial amount of money totaling $6000.
A weekly raffle at the Railway Club Hotel, which features donations from the hotel, butcher Taurus Meats, Chick-
Other notable contributors included Caltex South Roadhouse on the freeway and Betty Mallett and family outside O’Keefe’s IGA store in Anzac Village.
On Good Friday, 103.9 Seymour FM’s Hank Kreemers and Barry Mann broadcasted live from Seymour Fire Station and kept listeners informed during the day of the fundraising count.
Seymour’s donation total of $29500 contributed to the final Victorian tally of $18175467 to go towards the Royal Children’s Hospital and its work in providing the best health care, services and research possible to young people.
A Holden lover from way back
They don’t come much more committed than Hank Kreemers.
From his first vehicle — an FJ Holden ute — to this latest offering, a SSV Redline wagon, Mr Kreemers said he has never owned anything but a Holden, and he never intends to.
And the reason is obvious.
'‘They’re Australian made, and they’re the best car that was ever made for Australian conditions,'' he said.
'‘They’re the best car on the road, it’s that simple. If you can name a car on our roads at that price range that’s better, I’ll listen to you.''
In fact, Mr Kreemers is so impressed with Holden, he can’t just stop at one.
He has had two cars on the go at any one time since 1979, and has a limited edition Director — there is only 310 in Australia, and just another 50 in New Zealand — locked away at home which he takes out on weekends, or for special occasions.
Mr Kreemers said it was important to support local business, and the service he receives from Neil Beer Seymour has been nothing short of outstanding.
'‘Neil has always been friendly and good to me, and now his son (Greg Beer) is doing the same,'' he said.
'‘Why would I go anywhere else. People say to me ‘you can probably get it cheaper in Melbourne’, but you can’t, and even if Neil is $500 dearer, why would you go to Shepparton or Melbourne for that.
'‘You can’t beat their service and their value.''
And the feeling’s mutual for Neil Beer Seymour’s managing director Greg Beer, who said Mr Kreemers’ dedication to the brand was second to none.
'‘Hank’s our best customer by far, and he’s a great bloke to deal with as well,'' he said.
'‘Hank keeps coming back to us, and he sends a lot of people here too with his highest recommendations, so he’s certainly a highly valuable customer and friend to us.''
Mr Kreemers said he takes ownership of a new vehicle every 18 months to two years, but he’s been so impressed with his latest purchase that he '‘might just hang on to this one for a while’'.
'‘I’m not fanatical about cars, but I just love driving. Trucks, tow trucks, cars — you name it, I’ve driven it,'' he said.
'‘To sit in one of these, you enjoy driving even more, it’s a driver’s car and an incredible one at that.''
Bigger, newer, better at Neil Beer Seymour
North Central Review
FOR over 37 years, the friendly staff at Neil Beer Holden, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru Seymour have been selling and servicing new and used vehicles and that is about to get even better.
The dealership is undergoing a major five stage development that will enhance customer relations and expand the range of vehicles on display.
The Emily Street Holden dealership has just had a complete make over inside and out with new signage and bright new display areas.
Holden’s ‘Dealership of the Future’ program is presently rolling out nationally, representing more than $150M joint investment from Holden and its dealer network and Neil Beer managing director, Greg Beer, is proud of the fact that his Seymour dealership is at the leading edge of the program.
“We were one of the first dealers in Australia to have the ‘dealership of the future’ finished and up and running," Mr Beer said.
Stage two of the redevelopment has seen the all new service reception and waiting area now complete.
“We see this as an important move our customers can relax in the waiting area happy in the knowledge that there vehicle is being looked after in state of the art facilities," he added.
Still under construction in Stage three is a new eight bay workshop which will give the dealership an expanded workshop of 13 bays.
Stage four will commence in December with the redevelopment of 4500 square meters on the corner of Emily Street and Wallis Street into one of country Victoria’s biggest used cars operations -
The final stage five will see the amalgamation of the Nissan and Subaru showrooms onto the same site as Holden and Mitsubishi. Works in stage five will commence mid-
Polaris Welcomes Neil Beer Seymour
North Central Review
NEIL Beer Seymour is adding Polaris to the impressive stable of vehicle brands exclusive to the franchise.
Neil Beer Seymour will stock a full range of Polaris ATVs, ACE, RANGER, GENERAL and RZR models.
The dealership will also carry a full line of #Polaris engineered parts and accessories being the biggest range in the industry.
The range includes Polaris lock and ride accessories and Polaris Pro-
Polaris boasts the world’s largest and most innovative range of ATVs and off-
The range includes the industry-
Visit the team at Neil Beer Seymour to arrange a test ride, pick up a brochure, book a service or purchase some accessories for your Polaris vehicle.
Holden Dealership of the Future: Neil Beer Holden Appointed Pilot Dealer
Neil Beer Holden is proud to announce that we have been appointed as a pilot dealer for Holden’s Dealership of the Future.
The Dealership of the Future program’s goal is to provide customers the best experience and includes all areas of the dealership, such as technology, process/people, signage, internal and external and look and feel.
Neil Beer Holden will play a critical role in bringing Holden's new strategy and designs to life.
Three Cheers for Beers
The staff at Neil Beer Seymour have been kicking goals lately.
Luke Robinson has been rewarded with a trip to the Singapore Grand Prix thanks to his superb June/July sales results that had him among the first division across Australia, while Jason Potts had an outstanding second quarter for Subaru.
Tundra Vanwijngaarden earned herself a trip to Sri Lanka following a top two finish in the Nissan finance dealer division and Craig Murphy recently visited Japan after receiving a foreman's award for quality and efficiency.
Neil Beer Seymour director Greg Beer said it had been a significant period for the dealership.
''You expect people to win awards from time to time but it is certainly rare that to have this amount of staff do so in such a short time frame,'' he said.
Aside from the recognition of individual employees, there has also been plenty of positive feedback from customers. Mr Beer credited his team for what they have been able to achieve.
''We've got a really great bunch of people here at the moment and that is reflected by the work they do,'' he said.
Now we can offer YOU even MORE -
Neil Beer Holden and Mitsubishi are excited to announce that on 15 June 2015 the business added the Seymour Nissan and Subaru dealerships to its stable. Established in 1980, we are a family-
Our family are longtime locals, farming in the Goulburn Valley since 1915. For the last 33 years, founder and directors Neil and Jan Beer have farmed 372 hectares of Yea River flats and rolling hill country at "Cheviot Hills," Yea.
I started in the family business in 2002, taking over as Dealer Principal of Neil Beer Seymour Holden and Mitsubishi in 2013. The business has continued to thrive under my management, achieving market leadership in a tough market. I value being a part of a business that has seen Seymour grow and change over the last 35 years.
Our focus has always been people first. For 35 years, we have been delivering great customer service at the best price, winning industry awards for excellence in sales, service and customer satisfaction. Having the four franchises under the one umbrella means we are able to offer a wider range of benefits and services to the motoring public.
One such initiative is that from 1 August 2015, we will be offering a new service: free pick-
Our workshops are equipped with state-
Neil Beer Seymour's goal is to continue to be #1 for customer service. We want people to be able to buy with confidence knowing that they are being looked after by the whole team who live and work in the area. We guarantee NOBODY BEATS BEERS on both price and service.
Neil Beer Seymour
Four Great Brands Under One Great Roof
District car buyers now have an expanded range to choose from backed by 35 years of service to the Seymour and district community.
Neil Beer Holden and Mitsubishi has recently bought the Seymour Subaru and Nissan dealership and with it comes a wide range of benefits for the motoring public.
The new management of the Subaru and Nissan franchises sees the two brands come under the umbrella of the longest running dealership in the district that now employs over 40 local people across the four leading brands.
"We are looking forward to an. exciting future with Subaru and Nissan coming into our stable. District people will be able to buy with confidence knowing that they are being looked after-
Greg Beer is particularly excited about the new marques coming into the Neil Beer family.
"Subaru vehicles have undergone extensive upgrades in recent months; particularly with the Outback, and the Nissan range is one of the best I have seen," Greg said.
He added that the new Nissan Navara was particularly worth taking a look at.
"Nissan has a long history of building strong, dependable pickups. With each new model the boundaries of innovation have been pushed, and the new Navara is no exception," he added.
The next generation Navara combines a tough, working pedigree, with premium ride comfort, smart technologies, and sleek, modem styling.
The new Nissan NP300 Navara offers three engine choices embracing advanced technology that helps squeeze the most performance out of every drop of fuel. The ST and ST-
"Add to this our traditional Holden and Mitsubishi range and our all-
The strength of the Holden range is that owners of all new Holdens will see a subsidised capped-
Neil Beer Holden is a family run business and has been in Seymour for over 30 years. The dealership also offers a wide range of quality used vehicles. The dealerships are situated in Emily Street Seymour.