Sergiu and his team are enjoying a roaring trade at Ballinagh Auto Motors.

Building a success story bit by bit

On the wall of a storeroom in Ballinagh Auto Motors hangs a framed aerial photo taken in 2015 showing the service station and an empty yard to the rear. That rather unpromising yard was all Sergiu Burlcov needed to set up a car washing business along with his brother.

Beside it, a second photo taken from the same angle the following year shows how a fine new shed was added to provide a valet service. These photos depict the first in a series of half a dozen steps that have witnessed new limbs added to the thriving business until ultimately Sergiu acquired the whole enterprise on the Cavan Road.

From that modest car wash Sergiu’s enterprise now embraces a valet service, vehicle diagnostics service, mechanics, car sales, fuel pumps and shop.

“First I worked in the car wash, and then I worked in the garage, and then I started to sell the cars, and then I took on the filling station - it’s been bit by bit,” he explains.

In the half hour the Celt is in Ballinagh Auto Motors, a constant flow of customers pull in to get their cars washed or to fill up at the pumps.

Eighteen years ago, when he started out, Sergiu had no idea where his business would take him.

“I was looking for a job for my brother, and I thought me and my brother would run the carwash,” he recalls of the motivation for that initial investment.

After that, “bit by bit” he built up the garage and car sales.

“Three years ago, the owner of the service station said ‘I’m retiring, do you want to run all of them?’

“I bought everything from him, and now I run it,” says Sergiu, who is a qualified mechanic.

“I never say it’s hard, I always enjoy it - I like it, I wanted to do it, so it’s part of my life.”

He is grateful to his “great staff” for their vital contribution to the continued success of Ballinagh Auto Motors. It has a family ethos at its core.

“Usually my wife and my mother run the shop because it is too much for me,” he says adding they look after the sale of coal, kerosene, petrol and diesel.

Sergiu and his wife have three children, eight-year-old twins David and Sergiu and Alexandra (18) who also helps out in the shop.

The Burlcovs are content with their business, and are happy to report they have no plans for further expansion.

“I’m busy enough here,” Sergiu says. “I do everything from my heart now. I don’t do it for money, I do it because I like it.”