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Inner City Boutique: Cox Auto Service Centre

For those who live in or have visited South Melbourne, an inner city suburb of Melbourne and located only a couple of kilometres from the CBD would know just how busy and urban it is. The streets of South Melbourne are populated with high rise apartment and office buildings, cafes, restaurants, warehouses, the famous South Melbourne Market and on Montague Street (just down from the infamous “Montague Street Bridge”) is an independent European Mechanical workshop named Cox Auto.

Cox Auto is a family owned and operated business and has always been located on Montague Street in South Melbourne, now in two locations on Montague Street including their first workshop space which is celebrating 42 years in business this year – with the big 40-year milestone falling in 2021. Reaching 40 years is an incredible achievement for any business, especially if you are in the automotive industry for that period of time where products and technologies are constantly being released, revised and superseded and if you are located within one of the most rapidly changing parts of Melbourne’s inner south.

At the head of the family business is owner Ashley Cox, who is active in the day to day running of the business as well as in the local community of South Melbourne. Ashley believes in striving for the best in every possible detail, which is why a customer’s first impression as they walk in is a contemporary and modern designed building and reception area, with a comfortable waiting area offering complimentary coffee and refreshments. The business fits right in with its surroundings and location, providing its customers with the premium feel that is expected of inner city Melbourne.

It isn’t just how the business presents itself that is evident in Ashley’s mission for striving for the best – the workshop itself is fitted out with all of the latest tooling, diagnostic equipment, work bay equipment and even a state of the art wheel alignment machine. Cox Auto’s technicians themselves are proud in their work and are highly trained in their chosen fields, meaning that all work on vehicles can be carried out in-house – from minor servicing through to major engine rebuilds, tyre replacement and wheel alignments.

“With our highly experienced team of fully trained technicians, we have the expertise to service all European makes and models, and we pride ourselves on using quality parts and state of the art equipment” says Ashley as he proudly talks about his business.

“The best bit is, we do it all with a friendly and personalised service.”


Cox Auto initially started out with 1 technician but are now at over 20 staff members and counting to ensure their customers receive the level of attention that is expected when owning and servicing a European car. The staff’s main goal is to provide customers a greater experience than visiting a dealership. They have built very strong relationships with individuals and families over the time they have been in business, and this is due to understanding their needs at a deeper level than what a dealership could provide. Cox Auto also include a complimentary car wash after each service for all cars, have a large loan car fleet of European Cars and also run a shuttle bus service into the Melbourne CBD upon request so customers can get on with their usual schedule while their car is being worked on. You can’t ask for anything more than that! 


Mark Graham

Service Advisor – Cox Auto

How long have you been a Service Advisor? 

I’ve been with Cox Auto for about 7 years now, but over 20 years experience in total working with cars and with people.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I think the real trick with being a Service Advisor is that its less about understanding the work yourself, but rather helping the customer understand what work is required on their car. It’s also a challenge where I feel there is something new every day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?  

When we go over and above for a customer, for example if a customer breaks down and we work hard to get the car turned around and back to them as soon as possible, that’s for me the most rewarding part.

What do you think customers like the most about Cox Auto?

The level of service that they get. We are similar to a dealer but have the benefit of being a smaller and family run business, so we get to spend more time with a customer and make them feel like they aren’t just a number.