Stepping back from business

STEPPING DOWN: Angus McDonald spending his last few days in the office at Mac Ford.

It was 43 years ago when 17 year old Angus McDonald began working at Millicent’s Bohner Ford as a trainee salesman.

By 20 he had moved into a full time sales role and by 21 was sales manager for Alex and Betty Bohner who owned the dealership.

May 1 in 1989, nine years after starting his sales career, Angus and his wife Julie purchased the dealership from the Bohners and began trading as Mac Ford.

Throughout the years, Angus and his team have been successful in winning many industry awards with highlights being 2005 Ford Dealer of the Year and in 2013 Regional Dealer of the Year with Land Rover.

It can be difficult to find the right person to take on the responsibility of an automotive dealership so when Angus was approached by experienced sales manager Ben Shepherd about purchasing the dealership it seemed like the perfect time.

“I got to know Ben when he was at Rebel Ford, we got on well together and would talk about the industry,” he said,

“He said to me a couple of years ago “One day I’m going to come and buy you out.”

Angus said now is the right time for him and Julie to step down from the business even though he still loves what he does and the industry.

“I still love going to work now,” he said.

“It’s an exciting change for the business, Ben and Danika are half our age, and they are really lovely people.

“They are going to keep what is a very good business going, and make it better in their own way.

“My intention is to slow down and not work as much, I’ll still do a little bit assisting Ben and Danika in their new venture when and if they need me.”

When asked about the industry changes he has seen Mr McDonald said the internet changed the car industry immensely.

“It expanded our market and what we do to a lot further afield than just the South East and transformed the business,” he said.

“There’s bigger changes coming, electric and hybrid vehicles are definitely going to change the industry.

“It is changing it now.”

Angus said one of the secrets to Mac Ford’s long successful run has been the fantastic staff they have had in almost 35 years in business.

“The staff have been terrific and dedicated.,” he said.

“We couldn’t have done it without them and we thank them very much.

“We also have a lot of loyal customers who have supported us immensely over the years.

“We like to think we’ve supported them by being there when they need us and providing transport solutions when they are in trouble.

“Both Julie and I have loved what we have done.”

With two young grandsons the McDonalds are looking forward to having more time for family and future travel.

But their involvement with the community will remain as strong as ever.

“We are great supporters of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), it’s one of the main things we support from a business point of view,” Angus said.

“The Millicent RFDS could use a bit of a hand so I intend to give a bit of help now that I have more free time.”