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News > Collegians > Keppler brothers continue the family business

Keppler brothers continue the family business

Sean and Aaron Keppler now head the local super automotive brand.
Aaron (left) and Sean Keppler
Aaron (left) and Sean Keppler

Brothers Sean Keppler (Hamilton 2005 - 2009) and Aaron Keppler (Hamilton 2008 - 2012) are proud to have taken over the reins at the well-known vehicle dealership brand and their namesake, Keppler.

Sean and Aaron saw their parents establish Keppler in Hamilton as a used vehicle import company in 1993. The brothers then spent their school holidays washing cars, selling trade-in vehicles, and learning the various parts of the business.

Sean always had a passion for the trade and began his mechanical apprenticeship after finishing at St Paul’s Collegiate School to launch into his automotive career. Aaron was still unsure where his career path would take him. However, after receiving the prestigious University of Waikato Hillary Scholarship, he pursued a Bachelor of Management Studies.

Their combined backgrounds have seen Keppler’s success today, and the brothers now share co-director roles. Sean oversees the business’s backend and operations, and Aaron crunches the numbers in the sales department. Having learned first-hand how much work goes into running a successful business, the brothers are proud to have been handed the ropes from their family and now have six years under their belt working side by side.

“We consider six years a relative success. Many families don’t come out on the other side, but we are great mates and nail any disagreements fairly quickly,” says Aaron.

Under their leadership, Keppler received a Deloitte Fast 50 award for the Master of Growth Index in 2023. The Fast 50 recognises New Zealand’s fastest-growing companies across the Fast 50 and Master of Growth indices.

In October 2023, Sean and Aaron opened their grand new location on Te Kowhai East Road, joining several other big names in the vehicle hub of Hamilton. Keppler now focuses on selling new vehicles across the GWM, ORA, Haval, and Mahindra brands. The business operates on a much larger scale, introducing more defined roles within the company, a board of directors, and a recently acquired dealership in Tauranga.

Although they didn’t realise it at the time, being surrounded by hard-working families and passionate teachers while attending St Paul’s has been some of the best influences on the pair. Aaron recognised how much St Paul’s gave him a head start once he began university, noting that he had already learned the first year of university-level economics while at St Paul’s.

Having represented St Paul’s Rowing Club in his day, it was an easy yes for Sean to agree to a sponsorship deal for the club this year. The Kepplers have gifted the rowing club a vehicle to use throughout the sporting season to assist the teams in getting the boats to and from the lakes for regattas.

“Rowing taught me how to be a better teammate and conduct discipline during my years at school. There are many similarities between rowing and business. You have to turn up every day to get better,” says Sean.

Their advice? Give everything a go! Sean and Aaron emphasise that there is always time to change, and you can continue changing along the way.

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