Belfast Telegraph

Managing an accident is just second nature for CRASH

Sales and marketing director Tony McKeown has watched his father's business grow over 15 years

Can you tell us more about the service CRASH provides motorists?

Crash Services specialises in taking the hassle out of a motor accident handling all aspects of an accidents including vehicle recovery, replacement vehicles, approved repairs and liaising directly with insurance companies on behalf of motorists.

We also offer a breakdown service via our broker partners. The fact that we offer a complete one-stop shop for motorists in the event of an accident is our greatest strength.

How long has CRASH Services been operating in Northern Ireland?

CRASH was set up in 1996 by my father, Michael, who is the current Managing Director.

Since then, we have assisted over 40,000 Northern Ireland motorists and handled over £80m of claims.

Have you managed to maintain growth in the current economic climate — if so how?

CRASH has invested nearly £1m to create a regional network of repair solutions sites across Northern Ireland. Last year, we opened sites on Balloo Avenue in Bangor, Stockmans Lane in Belfast and Belfast Road in Newry, while further sites are planned for 2011 at high traffic locations within easy reach for motorists.

Over the past year, we have also started trading in the Republic of Ireland market where our service has so far been well received.

What advice can you give motorists to keep them safe on the roads in 2011?

Each year 70,000 motorists are involved in road accidents across Northern Ireland but many are unsure of what to do when the worst happens.

We have produced a short DVD on the key steps to take in the event of an accident which can be viewed on our website. We also provide motorists with a free CRASH care pack to keep in their glovebox. Recession is a challenge for businesses but it can also help companies focus on their strengths.

What positives have you identified?

We are very aware of financial pressures on motorists, including rising inflation, increased VAT, high fuel costs and a depressed job market.

However, an increased number of motorists are realising the benefits of our services as we work on their behalf to ensure that they receive the compensation they are entitled to in the event of an accident, in a hassle-free service.

What has been the highlight for your company to date?

CRASH has had many highlights over the last 15 years. Probably the greatest was the launch of the new TV campaign earlier this month, which we feel effectively communicates the nature of the services we offer to motorists across Northern Ireland.

What are the long term aspirations for CRASH? Do you foresee further expansion?

We would like to continue to increase our market share in Northern Ireland through our ex- panding branch network and increasing our network of broker partners.

We aim to mirror the same success in the Republic of Ireland over the next number of years.

What are the big challenges for CRASH in the year ahead?

Strengthening our robust management team to achieve our service and expansion aims.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Look after customers and watch your wealth grow.

Personal CV

Name: Tony McKeown

Title: Sales and Marketing Director

Age: 35

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Communication, Advertising and Marketing

Membership of professional bodies: None

Company CV

Name: CRASH Services Limited

Location: Belfast, Newry and Bangor

Sector: Accident Management

Trading since: 1996

Workforce: 48