'At 25 years old I am the managing director of my own company'

People You Meet

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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Seventh in a series giving a snapshot of the lives and thoughts of people you see on the streets daily. Sunday Observer reporter Sharlene Hendricks speaks to Merrick Muir, a self-taught automechanic, operating his own Auto company.

Portmore, St Catherine — I started out fixing phones and computers from eighth grade in high school. My mother was the kind of person who I could not bring anything in the house unless she know exactly where I got it from.

The first time I gave her $1,500, she start call down the whole place because she want to know where exactly I got money to be giving her $1,500. When I explained to her that it was from phones and computers I was fixing on the eighth grade block in high school, she came down to the school asking questions. That was the kind of mother she was.

In 2010 she died from leukemia. I never got the chance to buy her the vehicle that she always wanted before her death. I wasn't even 16 years old yet, but I used my hustling and bought her a 1991 Suzuki Alto. I didn't know anything about driver's licence or car title or anything like that, but I wanted to get mother a car. I bought it for $60,000 as a young youth, but by that time I got, it she was already in the hospital.

All of this is what motivates me based on my past because the majority of my batch mates from high school, if them don't migrate them dead or in a lot of wrongdoings. If I never hold up my head and linger with them, I would be in the same situation as a lot of them. I didn't even get to leave high school with any subject because mommy was sick and I wasn't focusing in school.

Eventually I ended up selling that little car in pieces, then I got a 1988 S12 and that is where my journey as a mechanic started. Although I didn't know much about working, I saw that mechanics were always making money. I took the time to educate myself. I grew up in a home where from the age of four my stepfather had me standing up on pan to wash plate because he wanted me to know what hard work was. He thought it was abuse but it only taught me not to be lazy.

Meanwhile, I was working as a security officer with the Portmore Country Club where I met a good friend — Herbi Ennis — who had a garage and one day we were having a discussion about cars. He was the one who taught how to build high-performance engines. I can pull down a car, rebuild it and it live for years.

This motivated me to start my own company, Muir's Auto Sales and Marketing. I source auto cars and parts. Any vehicle you want I can find it. I sell even vehicles for others. This is how I am now able to buy certain vehicles. There was a time when I was being branded as a scammer because I was a security guard yet still they see me rotating vehicles. But I have three children at the age of 25, and if I never try to learn and better myself I would not be able to do all that I can do for them now. Already I see where they are like me. They love cars and I want to pass that on to them.

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