Every month, we introduce the members of one of our regional committees. This month, the spotlight falls on the Western Cape.
After qualifying as an automotive engineer in the early 90s, Deon Goch spent most of his early career in race car engineering, camshaft manufacturing and designing and building competition engines. He started Goch and Cooper in 2007, with a special focus on vehicle servicing, repairs and automotive engineering. Deon also heads sister company Automotive Forensic Intelligent Solutions, providing assistance to legal firms around the country. Deon is passionate about passing on his skills and is an enthusiastic supporter of MIWA’s technical evenings.
Regional Exco member Rodney Jacobs is one of the partners of Auto Electro Dynamics (AED), along with Aadiel Maged. The company was formed in 2014 and boasts over 50 years of collective experience in the auto electrical and auto air conditioning industry. The company offers a range of services, from dynamic auto electrical solutions to earth-moving machines, mobile cranes, marine, forklifts, trucks, trailers, buses, light vehicles, generators and air compressors, autotronics, emergency warning lights and sirens, vehicle security and sound systems. AED prides itself on professional, personalised service and competitive pricing, and offers a 24/7 service.
Eric van der Merwe’s first post, after qualifying as a major apprentice with Avondale Toyota was, within the group’s BMW division. From there, he was headhunted to join Auto Deutsch BMW as a workshop foreman. This was followed by a stint at Stuart Bromfield, where he was first exposed to training in electronics – a move which shaped his career. Working his way up through the ranks in various BMW outlets, Eric developed his passion for Porsche when he offered to look after a vehicle that wasn’t performing to its full capacity. His next step was the establishment of his first company, Gamatech Auto, a specialist in German brands, fuel injection and electronics. Today, Eric heads Lynx Motor Sport, a Porsche specialist located in Paarden Eiland.
Gerard Haslam got his start in the industry in 1981, working as an automotive electrician apprentice. He qualified in 1986, taking a two-year break while he worked for the South African Defense Force before starting out at Lansdown Auto Electric. In 1989, he returned to RC Auto Electric, where he had qualified as an apprentice, and worked his way to becoming a director and shareholder. Gerard established Parow-based Zenith Auto Electric in 1999, then set up Automax Service & Fitment Centre in 2007, concentrating on Nissan, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa and Chrysler. Gerard has completed several advanced training courses at Bosch Training Centre and enjoys passing down his knowledge at the training workshops he hosts.
Monty Ford was just eight years old when he started working in the garage with his dad – and it’s only fitting that he has passed on his love of vehicles to his own family. Both Monty’s daughter and mother are part of M&E Auto , the company Monty has owned for the past 14 years, and which distinguishes itself through its hands-on approach and five-star accredited service. The workshop also boasts AA accreditation. A motorbike enthusiast, Monty has built several race cars and even had his own team on the racetrack.
A MIWA office bearer since 2002, Charles Baxter has grown Baxter Auto Services from a one-man workshop back in 1992 to a modern, well-equipped workshop employing seven staff members. The family business also sees involvement from Charles’ wife Dorinda and sons Charlton and Durand, carrying on the tradition first started by Charles’ father Titus. Charles believes in offering personalised service and reliable repairs, and his commitment to his clients is evident in the six awards he has won during his career. Passionate about upskilling the industry, Baxter Auto Services has been accredited and registered as a trainer by MerSETA.