2008 was not the best year to start a business, let alone a magazine. The global financial crisis was starting to bite, and only the brave or foolish would even attempt to rush in, while the angels were treading carefully. However, necessity is the mother of invention. This was the genesis of Automotive Business Review (aBr)
Leveraging off an in-depth knowledge of the automotive aftermarket, and a work ethic of insane proportions, the promise was a magazine that would inform, educate, and entertain. The mantra was Words in Action, Deeds in Action, Work in Action, Passion in Action, Customer Care in Action, and many other hyperkinetic activities. The odds were stacked against any endeavour starting out during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But when the options are limited, and putting oneself out to pasture was simply not tolerable, many quotes from Winston Churchill added grist to the decision to go it alone. “If you’re going through hell, keep going”, “Never, never, never give up”, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” were all taken to heart, with the most pertinent quote being “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Thus aBr was born, in a crucible of fire, which explains the Phoenix by-line. Now, ten years later, all the hard work, passion, and application of knowledge has borne fruit. aBr is now South Africa’s leading automotive aftermarket publication, by a country mile, proving that great deeds frequently come from adversity, and that the cream always rises to the top.
Great support from far-sighted and generous advertisers, who came on board with empathy and grace, contributed to the success of the magazine, and this symbiotic relationship contributed to a “win-win” situation, and the most heartening aspect of this scenario is that the exhilarating ride continues. The baton will eventually be passed on to like-minded individuals, but for now let us celebrate an amazing journey, and raise our glasses to ten years of publishing excellence!