Craig Arch has had a lifelong passion for automobiles. At age 12, he was selling tyres from his grandmother’s basement and by 15 began working as a tyre changer. With 55 years of experience in the automotive industry, he is the owner of Arch Automotive, the exclusive importer for Audi, Volkswagen and Goodyear tyres in the Cayman Islands.
Born in Maryland to a Caymanian father and American mother, Arch would visit Cayman on summer holidays to spend time with relatives. He began working with Goodyear as a young adult and quickly progressed through the ranks from tyre changer, to supervisor, to shop owner. During his visits to Cayman, Arch would frequent the local Goodyear dealership. When former owner Byron Ebanks passed in 2001, Arch called Ebanks’ widow and offered his support, which eventually led to a business opportunity.
When he assumed Ebanks’ portfolio, Arch also took on another client: Volkswagen. Though he’d been in the industry for a number of years already, selling new cars was a learning curve. Arch adapted quickly and soon Arch Automotive was a flourishing business catering to the community’s auto needs.
Fifteen years ago, Arch Automotive added Audi to its portfolio. Arch felt that the sleek, luxury vehicles deserved an equally handsome, boutique showroom.
“There had been international examples of successfully separating service centre from showroom, so we knew it could be done,” he says. His daughter, who had opened the first iteration of Anytime Fitness in Camana Bay, helped to facilitate the relationship with Dart and soon the Audi showroom opened its doors on Market Street.
“There was more control over the environment here,” Arch says of selecting Camana Bay. Because of the urban town centre plan, he was confident that any new development within the showroom’s immediate vicinity would be equally polished.
Technology in the auto industry evolves rapidly and while Arch says it can be challenging to continue staying on top of new tech, it’s a challenge he’s wholeheartedly embracing. After three years of prep work and training, Arch Automotive has just taken on electric vehicles. “It’s a business that requires you to be smart and to read and keep up,” Arch says. “But I’m excited to come to work every day.”
Arch says people might call him a workaholic.
“I like to get up at 3:48 a.m. and come to work by 5:00 a.m. I work until 5:30 p.m. every day. On Sundays, I come in to scrub the floors of the shop. I’m excited about our business and proud of what we do. Will I ever retire? Who knows. Right now, I’m committed.”
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