Bill Gracie’s relationship with DEUTZ has helped him to see the world.
Bill, who started a machinery business in his Rotorua garage in 1981, has visited the DEUTZ Cologne headquarters and branches in Singapore, South Africa and Australia.
One epic trip took in Cologne, Poland, Russia, Latvia, South Africa and Australia.
Bill says that when he left Cologne, his colleagues joked that they may not see him again. “They were staggered to see me walk through the door,” he says. “I was away for three months.”
Bill and his wife Josephine established W.L Gracie & Associates in their Rotorua garage to service Bell Logger forestry machinery, which uses DEUTZ engines.
Within six months the business had its own premises. These were soon upgraded to a better facility and in 1999 Bill became a DEUTZ dealer.
Over the years he has employed up to 14 staff, including his son, Andrew, who worked with Bill for 30 years. He now has eight employees.
W.L Gracie & Associates offers a range of liquid and air-cooled engines, including repairs, service, exchange components and genuine diesel engine spare parts.
Its many and varied projects have included ski lifts powered by V12 DEUTZ engines.
Bill uses a range of DEUTZ products, including the 912, 914, 2011, 2012, 1013 and 1015 series engine ranges from three to eight cylinders. He has always been impressed by their simplicity, precision and service.
“They’ve got some fairly good technical support,” Bill says. “And they’ve got a good parts back-up.”
Bill’s hard work paid off with three international DEUTZ awards, including a Dealer Special Sales Award (2002), Runner-up Highest Increase in New Engine Sales (2010), and Best Services Sales Growth (2013).
In their rare spare time, Bill and Josephine like to travel and visit their Bay of Plenty beach house. “I’ve always been very impressed with Singapore,” Bill says. “It’s such a clean place. Germany’s much the same. I quite like Cologne.”
Top Image: Bill Gracie (left) and Head Technician Mike (right).