Ken Mills grows to include Isuzu utility vehicles
YOU SHOULD start seeing some construction work along River Rd in Kingaroy as Ken Mills Machinery gets ready to expand.
Ken and Sheryl Mills are moving their storage sheds to make space for a new Isuzu ute show room and service centre.
"I'm hoping it will be done by September,” Mr Mills said.
In the mean time the couple will sell the Isuzu utes and SUVs out of their Bunya Hwy yard.
Isuzu had been looking to expand in to the South Burnett for some time and they approached Ken Mills.
"There are 66 manufacturers competing in the Australian market and about five or six of those manufacturers share about 50% of the market,” Mr Mills said.
Toyota is the current leader and while it's unlikely Isuzu will match them on range any time soon their D-Max utes and MU-X SUVs are popular in this part of the country.
"Aggressive and progressive franchises slowly pick up market share and they erode market share of the major players,” Mr Mills said.
"The auto industry is no different to a lot of other industries, the business model is profit through volume.”
Given that Isuzu doesn't have the range to operate a stand-alone store, they need to be what Mr Mills calls a bolt-on franchise.
"We're in a good position with Toyota, purely because we have the volume through the Toyota franchise that I can handle the lower volume franchise.”
Over the years Mr Mills has learned the importance of staying ahead of customer expectations.
"Retail changes almost daily and I think the way it's going no longer will you be guaranteed success because you have premium product,” he said.
"You need a range of products.
"Buying vehicles is like buying shoes, one size doesn't fit all.”
The move is great for local employment as well, with Mr Mills saying he'll engage contractors from the South Burnett.
But the real benefit for employees kicks in once the new show room is up and running.
"As an employer of choice we offer someone who is considering a career in the auto industry a wide experience,” Mr Mills said.
"We have Totyota which is by far the most popular brand along with Kubota and Mahindra agricultural products, a tyre retail store in Bob Jane T-Mart and now these other franchises.”