We have only recently learnt of the passing of New Zealand entrepreneur Bob Youngman, on July 20th, he was 90.
Born in Tauranga, he went directly from school into an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic in Ohakune, and then in 1953 he bought the motor repair business and turned it into a Todd Motors dealership selling David Brown Tractors, Commer Trucks and Hillman and Desoto cars.
In 1958 he moved to Palmerston North and bought a Europa service station which he eventually sold back to the company and in the process took up a position with the company as a senior sales executive. Europa was acquired by BP in 1972 so Youngman moved on and joined Priestman dealer, Richardson McCabe, as sales and marketing director. The move brought him into contact with long time friend and business partner Tim Richardson.
Richardson MCabe became the target of a number of takeover bids and was finally sold to Tappenden Motors and then Ceramco. This provided an opportunity for the two friends and in 1981 they established an all new company - Youngman Richardson & Co - with a staff of just three people. The company began as master distributors for Robin engines and Denyo generators.
Today the company is a Genie dealer, which also handles Almac tracked boom lifts, Platform Basket spider lifts and Wienold material handling lifts, with a total of 75 employees.
Youngman contributed to many community causes and in 1979 was a founding member of the Hire Industry Association of New Zealand (HIANZ). At the inaugural meeting he is said to have come to the rescue of the chairman who was struggling and offered to take over. He was also a justice of the peace and president of the Palmerston North Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Youngman passed away at the Rotorua Hospital. He was predeceased by his wife but leaves behind daughters Karen and Jocelyn, along with son Geoffrey plus 11 grandchildren/great grandchildren.
The following video is an interview with Bob Youngman at the 2016 Hire Association exhibition and conference in Rotorua.