Back in 1969, then in his early teens, Charles PACE was busy shuttling between Castille Bar and Canberra Restaurant in Valletta - a bottleneck then thronged with crowds of arriving passengers from the central Bus Terminus situated in Castille square. Ironically, while Charles was sweating to earn his meagre weekly wages as a waiter, within the Auberge de Castille - the Prime Minister’s Office - situated a few metres away, fundamental decisions were being taken to give shape to the future of Malta on its fifth year of independence.
His father, John Mary, affably known as ‘Ganni l-Berk’ owned both locales and Charles, fourth son of a family of nine, and hardly 17, had to resort to every iota of his agility to keep customers happy from early morning till night time. His customers were his beloved audience. Serving them to the best of his abilities became his self-proclaimed ambition and he strove hard to achieve it. Today, however, he confesses that his preferred customers were the staff at Allied Newspapers, better known as ‘The Times’.
Little did he know however what was in store for him on that fine June day in 1969 and the influence it had to have on his future as a business man .
Shattered with fatigue and on the point of calling it a day, Charles was wiping the last cups and saucers and filling the giant sized freezers with huge blocks of ice and bottles of Cisk for the morrow, which incidentally was just a few hours away. His father and two partners approached him and nonchalantly broke the news to him. They had just rented a showroom in Constitution Street, Mosta with the intention to shift the line of business radically - from snack bar catering to second hand car sales. His new job - car washing and polishing. His dream - to make a future out of it. His biggest assets - tenacity and his natural inclination to serve clients.
It was evident from the start that Charles had plans that went beyond what his father could fathom. He was determined not to remain enslaved either to his chamois leather, sponge and car polish nor to the unenterprising methods being contemplated by his father’s partners. Charles was ambitious and immediately recognized the dearth of business acumen existing in second-hand car dealing. He undertook to devote his skills and strength to build a reliable reputation and an esteemed clientele.
By 1981, he had secured more than 50 % of the shares in the company and assumed overall management control. By 1986, he had extended his showroom space in Constitution street, Mosta, with another showroom and by 1997 with a third - the latter marking an innovation on the island - a multi-storey car display establishment, lift operated.
Today, Mosta Auto Dealers Limited is a success story of the first degree and all this can be safely attributed to the enterprising skills and qualities of Charles Pace. His motto through has been constant: Our reputation is our best investment - an axiom which he has defended against all odds and through rough times in the island’s business history during the last thirty years.
To date, satisfied customers extend beyond the 2000 mark, most of whom have extended their word of recommendation to their next of kin and close friends.
Charles Pace is a firm believer in an unflinching after sales service, convinced that sales unaccompanied by a conscientious after sales support system is more damaging than profitable to the company’s profile.
Mosta Auto Dealers Ltd. regularly stock over 60 different second hand vehicles. However this does not entitle Charles Pace to lay back in his most welcoming outlets and hibernate in his office all day long. With an instinctive aversion to sedentary duties, Charles prefers to be in the thick of things - in the midst of his employees - monitoring deals, vehicle repairs, administrative decisions and keeping contacts alive by being interactive with the forces that dictate the course of the vehicle market. Nevertheless, he goes out of his way to give clients individual attention, preferring to finalise all agreements personally - something which the majority of clients insist on having and which Charles invariably provides. At the end of the day, this is the ultimate demonstration of trust - something which he personally cherishes a lot.
His reputation as an honest broker with a client-friendly approach is by now household knowledge. The deserved fruits of his efforts, Charles undertakes to nurture his trust by putting on display the best vehicles available on the market, offering his clients, quality samples at the most affordable prices and at the most advantageous terms imaginable.
In fact, at Mosta Auto Dealers Limited, with the terms provided, it is cheaper to buy a vehicle on a hire purchase instalments, than it is to rent it.
There may be a number of second-hand car dealers in Malta, but only a few have taken over thirty years to prune their sterling services to their prized clients. Mosta Auto Dealers Limited is one.