BIG Awards 2022 Winner Q&A – Bee Cool ACS Ltd
The IGA is shining a spotlight on our BIG Awards 2022 winners, hearing their history, stories and advice to other garages and technicians.
This month, the IGA interviews David Fry, Managing Director of Bee Cool ACS Ltd in Kettering, who won our inaugural Outstanding Achievement Award.
Tell us a little bit about you and your garage, for example how the business started?
My journey started in 2001, when I spotted an emerging gap in the automotive aftermarket, after having my first ‘Luxury Car’, a Vauxhall Omega MV6.
I thought I was in heaven enjoying my motoring experience, when the first hot period of the year came along. It was soon apparent by the temperature inside of my car that I had a problem with the A/C, and I started looking for someone to help fix it, as although I had been working and repairing cars since a teenager, I knew nothing about car air conditioning. I had several visits to good independent garages and Fast-Fit centres, and was always met with a lot of frustrated faces and ‘shrugging of shoulders’. Eventually, I had two visits to the Vauxhall Main Dealer (who some years later became one of my many customers), and like some kind of ‘Black Magic’ behind big silver closed doors, and a £1000 bill later, my A/C System was fixed and I was back to Bee’ing Cool in my car again! This started my inquisitive mind off in wanting to know more about the ‘Black Art’ of car A/C systems. Knowledge was hard to come by, but I made it my goal to academically study every textbook and technical course I could find, and I was fascinated finding out that the number of cars now being factory fitted with A/C systems was growing exponentially year on year.
Why did you choose to work in the industry?
A passion for all things with engines, and a desire to work in motorsport.
What has surprised you the most about working the industry?
The challenges we get on a daily basis, and that even the Tier 1 companies need the help of a small company like us.
What do you find most challenging about working in the industry?
Keeping up with the constant technology changes, and meeting customer expectations.
What’s the best thing to happen to you whilst working in the industry?
Becoming the Team Manager of Benneton F1 in 2022, an aspiration I never thought I would achieve.
As winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award, what would you say your biggest accomplishment has been?
Being responsible for developing the original Thermal Management Principles for EV Vehicles, to utilise AC Systems to cool batteries and axles.
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer to someone starting out as a technician?
Keep on learning, take every opportunity, and be the best version of yourself.
Where do you see your garage business in five years’ time?
We launched our Franchise Opportunity in 2021, just before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, and hopefully we can be in a position to help other garages bring some professionalism and knowledge of A/C Systems and EV Thermal Management Systems.
What would be your dream car and why?
I have already achieved my dreams, having now owned 3 Bentleys, and the last one I bought was a Limited Edition Carbon Fibre Supersport GTC. There is no better car in the world!
What does winning a BIG Award mean to you?
A lot, just to get some recognition for a lifetime of work within the car industry, and hopefully to inspire others that dreams do come true!