Powerbase was the brainchild of Julian Belcher. During the mid-eighties it became apparent to him that there was an untapped niche in the market for a company that specialised in vehicle rotating electrics, i.e., starter motors and alternators. To understand the reasoning behind this it is necessary to look a little further.
During the 1960’s, the majority of cars on our roads were British; the electrical content was small. With the light electrical loads of the day, a dynamo was perfectly adequate. However in the latter part of that decade, the addition of heated rear screens, two speed heaters, etc, increased and with them, the number of different types of starter motors and alternators. This trend has continued to this day to the extent that if a company decided to stock starters and alternators to service 95% of the market, it would have to hold over 1200 different units. These are high cost items and would be uneconomical to hold Also, taking into account the level of expertise required to diagnose associated problems, the average "Fast-Fit Fitter" would probably not be qualified.
During February of 1990, the second department within the company was opened, this being "Engine Diagnostics".
The electronics boom in the motor industry started very slowly during the mid-seventies. The early eighties could find top of the range cars found with fuel injection and electronic ignition. Today, every car manufactured has electronic ignition and fuel injection. Coupled with this has been the advent of engine management systems with its very expensive ECU (electronic control unit) and it should be obvious that the motor trade of today is very different from ten years ago.
These systems are very reliable. The cars using them tend to need less servicing and the car, as a whole, needs less maintenance. However when they go wrong many garages are ill equipped and woefully untrained to deal with the newer generations of cars. Since starting in this field of work the business has grown steadily year on year mainly by recommendation to the point that the vehicle workshop is usually full.
From the early days when the thrust of the business was the re-manufacture of starter motors and alternators, the company rapidly became involved in the more traditional roles of auto-electrical and vehicle repairs. In 1992 they opened a radiator workshop to repair, re-manufacture and fabricate radiators to customers’ own specification. As the only company involved in this locally it continues to be a valuable service especially where bespoke applications need a non standard rad.
The rapid growth of Air Conditioning systems in cars led to Powerbase establishing a department to repair and maintain them. During the summer months the company have been responsible for cooling the brows of many motorists, and because of their depth of knowledge they are able to tackle even the trickiest of jobs
In June of 1996 Powerbase moved from their old premises in an industrial unit on the edge of Ashford to the much more central Beaver Road location. This larger site, with its much better facilities has allowed them to expand the range of services and products offered.
The range of services now extends well beyond the average garage workshop, indeed the local trade regularly use their more specialist services when they are in trouble.
The continuing bad press for the motor trade (some of it deserved) led to Powerbase looking for a way of proving to customers their honesty and expertise. To this end the company became one of the first organisations in the country to achieve Kitemark Approval for it's repair and servicing. The British Standards Institute continue to vet and monitor the company in accordance with the requirements of the scheme (PAS80)
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Call us on 01233 610014