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Michael Anstee driven by determination

The team at Grafton Motor Group are being steered towards a bright future under the leadership of dealer principal Michael Anstee.

Since taking an equity share in the business and relocating to the Clarence Valley from Queensland in 2014, Mr Anstee has been a prominent member of the renowned car dealership team and brought more than 10 years industry experience with him to the local area.

A self-confessed Queenslander, Mr Anstee was born in Singapore while his father, a member of the Australian Army, was stationed overseas.

His family soon returned to Australia and he spent his youth in Toowoomba and Brisbane before starting work with the family business, a chemical detergent manufacturing company.

After leaving the family business, Mr Anstee made a career change and joined Black Toyota, spending the next several years working in the Darling Downs region in southern Queensland before being offered a position at an Audi dealership in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley.

A year later, an opportunity to move to Grafton beckoned and Mr Anstee hasn’t looked back.

“Grafton is a lovely town,” Mr Anstee said.

“It’s a great area, the Northern Rivers, and everything is here, everything you could possibly want and I love working here.”

Mr Anstee said the best thing about his role at Grafton Motor Group, formally known as Black Toyota, is leading a dedicated team of employees who work well together and support each other.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Anstee was able to successfully negotiate a roster which enabled all 36 staff at Grafton Motor Group to retain their positions.

Describing himself as proud of his team for their continuous support and understanding, their unity is testament to his leadership skills and faith in their professional abilities.  

“Dealerships like ours were assigned as essential services so we’ve not suffered as much as some other businesses,” Mr Anstee said.

“It has been difficult and everyone had to take a 20 percent pay cut, but thankfully by the end of May we were able to return to operating five days a week and where we are now is a real credit to our team.”

As the dealer principal, Mr Anstee is in charge of all operations at Grafton Motor Group, including the Hyundai, Toyota and Suzuki franchises.

Labelling the Toyota 200 series as his favourite model, he currently drives a Toyota SUV and describes their most popular vehicle on the market, the Toyota Hilux, as a solid, safe family car.

“People love the dual cab configuration and Toyotas are renowned for their durability and reliability.”  

Away from work, Mr Anstee enjoys following the local horseracing, fishing and supporting the Bankstown Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL, although he hopes his team will return bigger and better in 2021 after performing below par this year.