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Award winning auto industry exec takes on Elite Bayside franchise

Byron Smith has spent most of his working life in cars. As a service manager in car dealerships around Queensland, Byron has worked at many of the majors including Pioneer Holden in Mackay where he worked for five years and the Mitsubishi dealership in Springwood. While he was working at the Mitsubishi dealership he was recognised with several national customer service awards, and won a trip to Sun City in South Africa when he was chosen as the top service manager for Mitsubishi in Australia.

After a long career in the automotive sector Byron was ready for a new challenge, and when his good friend Steve Buttigieg mentioned that he might be interested in selling his Elite Bayside franchise, Byron’s ears pricked up. Fast forward several months and Byron is now in the final stages of taking over the franchise.

“I am really looking forward to taking over at the helm of the thriving business that Steve has built up,” says Byron. “Training with the Elite team and with Steve has been intense, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, and I’m looking forward to formal handover in a few days time.”

Byron of course recognises the importance of customer service, whether in a car dealership or in a carpet cleaning business, and saw a business built to a very large extent on excellent customer service.

It can also be a physically demanding job, which is where Byron’s – and as it turns out also Steve Buttigieg’s – hobby will come in useful.

Byron is an ardent cyclist, riding between 15,000 and 16,000 kms every year in training and races. He has completed the Tour de Cure (the one that Channel 7 Sunrise presenter Mark Beretta rides in) twice – the Brisbane to Cairns in 2012 and the Sydney to Melbourne in 2011, plus takes in a long ride in New Zealand every year, and it was in fact while training with Steve that the possibility of Byron taking over the business came up in conversation.

When he’s not working or on his bike, Byron spends his time with his wife and young family of three boys.

“It’s certainly a busy life,” says Byron “but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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