Simon Emery's Deals On Wheels
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About Simon

I was born in 1977, at the time the family lived in Easington village, where Billy Elliot was filmed. My father had the local car dealership and my mother was very involved with horses and the local hunt. With the onset of the miners strike we moved to Houghton le Spring to a hill top farm. It was a working farm, although we were just residents. I however was always helping the farmer out, it was great fun driving tractors and as any good farmer knows making things. We were always making a part for this or that tractor or new enclosure for a bull.

I was driving from an early age, I think 9 or 10. I know for sure that when I was 12 I was teaching my brother, then age 10 to drive my mother’s brand new Mitsubishi Pajero “Imported from Cyprus”. We were doing well, it was a private road I would like to add, but then he got a bit carried away with himself and took out 50m of fence in the paddock. That was it, the next week we were learning to build fences.

While living in Houghton I played for the local rugby team, this was a sport I continued when I went to senior school. I started at Durham School when I was thirteen, it was a private school but I was a day pupil. The hours were horrendous, starting at 8.30 for chapel till 9.00pm as we stayed to do our homework or prep at school.

There were lots of activities available, I was still playing rugby against Harrow & Eaton and Ampelforth. I took up rowing. It was a gentleman’s sport. We were competing in regattas which were open to all. It was great. We would spend all day Saturday at different regattas about the North east. Our crew was a “four”, this is four rowers and a cox who steers. We were quite successful, as were all the crews from the school. We were after rowing against clueless students who did not have the dedication or skill we had. We competed in the National championships a couple of times but won nothing. However we did win the schools equivalent to the Boat Race, Maltlake to Putney in London.

Whilst in school my interest in cars and selling was already growing. I had already owned many dirt bikes, quads and trikes that we used on the farm for fun. I also had a Landrover Fire Engine and a dumper truck. I learnt at an early age how engines work and how to fix them when they didn’t.

I started a weekend job when I was fourteen. At the time my father had a conservatory business and we were doing exhibitions around the North East. We would get to garden centres and hotels and try to make appointments for the sales staff to follow up. I started just setting up the stands then progressed to selling. I did quite well and got a feeling for having money in my pocket.

I knew then that school was not my way forward in life and I left at 16. Not being able to drive was a bit of a pain. I started my car apprenticeship at a friend’s car body shop on a farm as it was. I would be dropped off every day and spend the day learning to fill, weld, paint and even rebuilt a couple of Landrovers.

Once I could drive I sat my test 10 days after by 17th birthday and to my surprise, I passed. I then was selling cars at my father’s garage in Peter Lee. It was one of those “we will get anyone finance” outfits. You can imagine the sort of people I was meeting, having come from private school to “chucky duffers” as we called them.

I spent two years working and learning from my father then the site was sold for housing so I went off on my own. Not a moment to soon as it is hard working for family. You are expected to do too much and you can’t be sacked for arguing with your dad so it was not really the best way to live your life.

I spent the next five years working for different main dealers, I was doing well. I was quite happy at Landrover where at nineteen years old I would often be driving a Rangerover. However, I wanted to move on and ended up working for Reg Vardy’s. I started on used car sales and progressed to commercial Sales Manager at the van centre. At Vardy’s I learned a lot about dealing with customers and good customer service. I always wanted something better for myself and by then I was married, so me and my wife AnnMarie quit our jobs and came to Cyprus.

I started working for a big Limassol dealer and was marketing in Paphos for him. I learnt a lot about the Cyprus market which was and still is very complicated to understand. By this time my first son had arrived and wanting to improve my position I went on my own for the first time in my life.

I started with what was a video shop on the Polis road. I was borrowing cars and brokering cars for people. It was doing well and I started to accumulate a few cars of my own. Parking was a nightmare in town so I moved to Yeroskipou. The most recent addition to the business was the workshop. It was an obvious choice when my friend Daka Dave was selling his place to return to the UK, so I moved everything to our current site in Chloraka. The sales and service businesses work hard to help each other, and we can now claim to be the only car dealer with our own workshop on site.

I think that in some ways I was mad to go self employed in a foreign country, and although it has been very hard work, it has been made easier with the help of good friends and associates.

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