Autolink sells a huge range of Mazda MX-5 parts, we also stock parts for other Japanese cars, mostly hard to find imports.
The company’s parts sales operation ships parts globally and has a reputation for quality and fast dispatch.
We are very much enthusiasts of the older Japanese cars, of which there are still quite a few in pretty rust free condition in Japan, so as well as MX-5’s we specialise in bringing over JDM Classic cars over 30 years old. Of the 4 known Isuzu 117 Coupe’s in the UK, we imported 3 of them. We also have brought in Toyota Corolla Levin AE86, TE27 & TE71, Skyline GC10, various Kei cars and even a number of classic Minis.
Autolink was set up in Feb 1996 to provide a platform for selling cars on the internet. This was before the likes of Autotrader and Exchange & Mart had an internet presence. We set up sites for dealers and provided free advertising for private sellers. When the big players came in to the internet market, we were bullied out as we could not advertise in any of the motoring press as they saw us as competition.
We moved into the Japanese import market by accident after helping a friend sell some cars he’d exported from Japan to the UK. With our new-found expertise in registering Japanese imports, we moved into the market in a bigger way.
As well as the Japanese market MX-5 mk1 (the Eunos Roadster), we brought in a lot of other Japanese cars such as: Isuzu Bighorn (Trooper), Toyota Celica, MR2, Mitsubishi Pajero (Shogun), FTO, GTO (3000GT), Chariot (Spacewagon), Subaru Impreza, Legacy, Honda Prelude, CRX, etc.
Originally based in Upham, Hants, Autolink moved to Lycroft Farm, Swanmore in November 2001. Andrew and his team mostly sold imported cars and a few spares. We started bringing in damaged and tatty Eunos Roadsters from Japan, having them cut in half in Japan and put in containers, to be sold as spares over here. It wasn’t exclusively MX-5 in those days but it soon became obvious that they were the way to go.
Cars were being sold before they were even shipped from Japan – demand was high. The service and parts side of the business was important but incidental to the company’s main business, selling MX5s.
However, this demand for imported cars fell. The Yen rose, making the importing of cars uneconomic. The company found that as cars sales enquiries fell, enquiries for parts grow dramatically. So a decision was made to sell some of the sales stock as parts.
After a very short while the demand for used parts meant that cars originally destined to be sold whole were sold as parts. It now seems criminal the number of good, rust free MX-5 mk1 & mk2 bodyshells that we scrapped as no-one wanted to buy them at the time. People had no idea just how rusty they would go in a few years time…
More and more customers started requiring new as well as used parts so the company now holds a large range of new parts for MX-5s.
AutolinkMX5 has grown significantly since those early days and now offers a huge range of new and used MX-5 parts.
Since the EU referendum and the fall in the value of sterling our importing business has been badly hit, so we are in the process of relocating to Castle Douglas, Scotland where we own our own premises and do not need to pay out rent every month. We plan to be operating from Scotland from the end of 2017.
Andrew Stott – Mazda Menders forum name Andrew
Location – Castle Douglas, Scotland
Keen on cars, I started buying ‘Motor’ magazine in 1974 instead of ‘the Beano’ with my pocket money.
Worked in a newsagents with 5:30 am starts from age 14 to 18 while at school/college, then as a dustman (bought an AH Sprite with the proceeds of the 1st 6 weeks work, good pay, that job), then went to do a degree but dropped out of Poly Engineering course and worked as a combined harvester driver, doing agricultural chemical and fertiliser trials, both here and in Australia, great job, it was always summer for me. 🙂
Had a motorbike accident (spilt diesel, country lane, 30mph) in 1983 and broke 9 bones, including 3 vertebrae in my back, and put a rib through a kidney. Long spell in hospital and then a wheelchair. Had to give up my job, and having to live back at home with my parents, did loads of further education to get out of the house (and it was free as I was on sickness benefit). Studied philosophy, bridge and typewriting (I have RSA typewriting stages 1, 2 & 3, despite only using 2 fingers). Went on a computer ‘TOPS’ course as I could sit at a desk no probs in the wheelchair.
Had to drive automatic cars for quite a while but had a mk1 Granada 3.0 so spent a lot of time pretending to be the Sweeney. Oi! Shut it!
Gradually got better and was pretty much fully recovered by 1985 but worked in computers for about 20 years, programming and later testing, mostly in the insurance and finance industries.
Set up Autolink in 1996 to sell cars on the internet, with 2 friends, bullied out of the market by the big players when they eventually came into the internet marketplace.
In the meantime I’d had lots of cars, a fair few Jags, and a number of Peugeots, I was tech adviser on 205’s for the Peugeot club, and at one stage had 4 Peugeot 304’s, a cabrio, 2 x coupes and an estate.
Started importing cars from Japan in 1999. I wanted an MX-5 but couldn’t justify it to the finance committee as we had 2 small kids, so I imported one, got it registered, drove it around, sold it when the next one arrived from Japan, and so on. I’ve had around 500 MX-5’s so far…
Imported other vehicles as well, but mostly MX-5’s, Isuzu Troopers and Subaru Legacy’s. I worked hard to dispel the rubbish rumours spread by the main dealers and press telling people to avoid imports as they were all stolen and clocked.
Following the (disastrous for me) EU referendum decision I have sold my house in Hampshire and bought a bigger place in Scotland to run the business from, currently running in two places 390 miles apart so I’m getting to spend a lot of time on the M6.