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HWP will bounce back, BADA boss predicts

The chairman of the Bermuda Automotive Distributors’ Association (BADA) believes that HWP will bounce back from the fire which destroyed its main building this week.

Michael Butler, who is also general manager of Bermuda Motors, said that it would be hard for the Island’s biggest auto dealer to recover from such a setback but added that the motoring industry had rallied round to help out.

The blaze gutted HWP’s body and paint centre, where it started, the car showroom, the motorcycle department and administrative offices.

Mr Butler said that Bermuda Motors’ paint and body shop was helping to service HWP customers whose vehicles had been damaged by the fire and had the first car in yesterday, as well as other jobs pending.

“Obviously they were the largest retailer/seller of automobiles on the Island and they are going to be out of action for quite a while because the offices were destroyed as well as all of their data systems and things like that, but I’m sure that they are going to build themselves up again,” he said.

“At the moment they are focusing on customer care which is the right way to go.

“It’s a hard thing to come back from but all the BADA members are working with HWP to help them through this crisis.

“Their paint and body shop got wiped out so were helping them by taking their jobs on that were due to be done offering a preferential rate to do stuff.”

Speaking about the industry as a whole, Mr Butler said that auto dealers were still facing hard times, with vehicle sales down more than 50 percent over the past three to four years and he expected that trend to continue during the recession.

“It’s a struggle for everybody in this industry at the moment,” he said. “The Japanese situation (earthquake and tsunami) had an effect on supply of parts and vehicles for a while but it’s almost back to normal now.”

BADA chairman Michael Butler

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Published August 11, 2011 at 10:12 am (Updated August 11, 2011 at 10:12 am)

HWP will bounce back, BADA boss predicts

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