Future auto mechanic Max Polyakov was born in a small neighbourhood in the city of Lyon, France. Born in the family of 7, he had an elder brother and 3 younger sisters. His family was just an average household that believed in hard work and the dignity of labour. It was a family where love and respect for each other reigned.
Max Polyakov was born at the time when the economy of the city was at its peak. There were a lot of things happening in different sectors of the country. Prosperity was experienced in almost all sectors of the economy and people lived their lives to the fullest. Lyon is the third in the list of the largest cities in France. It also has the second largest urban area in the country. Lying around the east-central part of the country, specifically on the confluence of the Saone and Rhone Rivers, Lyon stands at around 470 km south of Paris and 320m north of Marseille. As of 2014, the city in question had a population of about 513,275 people, with the larger metropolitan area population coming up to 2,265,375 people. The city is the centre for banking in the country. Other areas that thrive here are the biotech sector, the pharmaceutical sector, and the chemical industry sector.
As for the automobile angle, this is the seat of the Iveco Bus Company, formerly known as Irisbus. It is a subsidiary of the CNH Global of Turin, Italy. It was the bus and coach divisions of Fiat Industrial that came together to form Iveco Bus. The merger also included Iveco, Renault and Ikarus bus, and it was perfected in 1999. However, the company is 100% owned by the CNH Industrial’s Iveco, and one of the companies is in Lyon with others in Turin, Mainz, and Watford. They specialize in the manufacturing of buses and vans for various purposes.
Max Polyakov’s family lived in a small 3-bed apartment which the dad inherited from his father who was the mayor of the city at some point. Mr Andrew Polyakov was among the wealthiest people to have lived in their neighbourhood. He rose to become the mayor of Lyon at some point in his life. However, he had a very large family, with 5 boys and 3 girls as his children. But one thing he did was ensuring that each of them got a house from him before he died. So, Max Polyakov’s father got a 3-bedroom apartment close to the state university, and it has served as their family home since then. Mr Charles Polyakov was a removal specialist and he runs a small Moving Company in the small town of Ambronay. A moving company, van line or removalist firm is a company established to assist people to move their properties, home and office equipment, and goods from one location to another. It normally involves some other allied services that are necessary during relocations, and they include unloading, packing, unpacking, moving, loading, and arrangement of the items. In some other cases, extra services like house, office, and warehouse cleaning may be included too. Charles Polyakov made use of a range of Iveco Daily buses to offer this service. He operated from a massive undeveloped land he also inherited from his father and had a staff of about five people.
The Iveco Daily is a commercial van that is produced by the Italian automaker which has an office in Lyon. It comes in a large but light form, and the company has been producing it since 1978. At some point, Fiat sold the car as Fiat Daily. However, there are some differences between the Daily and Fiat Ducato. While the Ducato comes with a unibody, the Daily comes with a separate ladder frame. It resembles what you will get in other traditional commercial vehicles that are heavier and bigger. The Daily has the grace of being among the few vans in the market that come with a separate chassis and body, the same way heavier trucks are built. The major benefit of this attribute is that it can carry heavier loads. This van has GVW modes with carriage capacities that range between 3.3 tons and 7 tons. That is actually why Max Polyakov’s father preferred them to other vans in the market. This is coupled with the fact that they are made, assembled and can be serviced in Lyon.
His wife is a nurse. She has been with the state maternity hospital from her time as an enrolled nurse. From there, she was able to complete her studies and became a registered nurse. At the moment, Mrs Julie Polyakov is heading the labour and delivery department of the biggest maternity hospital in the state and city of Lyon. That is how far diligence and hard work has gotten her, and she never fails to make it known to her children that nothing is worth having if it is not earned. She has faced a lot of resistance from those who would like to cut corners in doing things in the establishment. But because she knows that labour is a matter of life and death, she always insists on due process and the best process. This has earned her the name, madam due process.
Now, the parents are always trying to get their children to understand that life is about doing the right things and that the dignity of labour is paramount. They are always trying to let them see and experience how hard they work to make whatever they make. This culminated in Charles taking Max Polyakov and his elder brother with him to work whenever they were on holidays. He allowed Max Polyakov and his brother to pack and lift the items that were not fragile, especially those belonging to kids in the houses being relocated. But he noticed something. Whenever they were out on such duty, Max Polyakov would not keep quiet until the entire process was over. Once they got into the van to drive out, Max would start with questions like, “Dad, where did you buy this van?”, “Who manufactured it?” and “Can I make my own car when I grow up?”
The height of it came when their car broke down in the middle of the road on one of those occasions. As Max Polyakov’s father brought out his phone to call the nearby auto mechanic, Max Polyakov looked at him and asked, “Dad, can’t we fix it by ourselves?” His father refused to answer. But little Max Polyakov went ahead to say, “we were told in school that you should always drive out with your toolbox so that you can fix your car when it develops minor faults. Daddy, don’t you have a toolbox?” The father looked at him and answered, “Max, this is not the type of fault we can fix. We have to wait for the mechanic to come.”
After this, the questions kept reverberating in the father’s mind. He wondered why his son has become so inquisitive about cars that he even remembered everything he was taught in school about them. But while they were waiting for the mechanic to come, Max Polyakov saw a sticker by the rear window of the van. It read FireFly. Max asked his father the meaning of that, and he told him it was a name he gave to one of his defunct businesses – one he was very passionate about. Max replied that when he grows up, he would like to name his business FireFly.
It did not take long before the team from the nearby mechanic workshop arrived and started working on the van. Little Max Polyakov did not stop his questions. He looked with rapt attention and asked about every action of the mechanics. While the questions seemed distractive, the chief mechanic was always eager to answer, and Max appreciated him for that. It did not take them even 5 minutes to take care of the fault with the van’s fuel pump. Soon enough, Max Polyakov, his elder brother, and his father were on the road again heading to the house removal location.
Mr Charles Polyakov had noticed the way his son was showing interest in everything about his vans but he did not understand why. At some point, he would dismiss his questions as one of those inquisitive attributes of kids. But some other times, he would ask himself why his eldest son was not showing a similar interest in anything at all. However, the answer to these questions came when Max Polyakov was 12 years old. He was now in middle school and has started receiving some science lectures in class. On one of those faithful evenings, Max and his father were cleaning one of the vans after the day’s job because some of the employees were away on holidays. In the process, Max Polyakov looked at his father and asked if he could own a van when he is 18. Mr Polyakov said yes. But for now, he can only own a toy. Max Polyakov capitalized on this and pleaded with his father to buy him a toy van for his next birthday. Fortunately for him, the birthday came in two weeks’ time. Charles made the promise and delivered on the evening of his birthday. However, this became a problem in the house. For the next week, Max never let go of the toy and never allowed any other member of the family to get close to it. He guarded it with his life.
After one week, something that surprised everybody happened. One Friday evening, Max Polyakov came home with his toy, and everybody in the house discovered that half of the parts have been removed. When they asked him what happened, he went into the room, fetched his school bag and took out the removed parts. The kid and his friend have dismantled the entire engine of the small machine in search of the motor that propels it. They wanted to know what moved it when it was switched on. What they learned in class that week was Motorized Objects and How Their Movements Are Ensured. After the lectures and during the midday break little Max Polyakov and his best friend decided to dismantle his toy and to confirm what propels the little machine. After dismantling the toy, they could not assemble it again and he had to collect the parts and put them in his school bag. That was the day it dawned on Mr Polyakov that he had a child auto mechanic in his house.
Another incident that sealed the need to get Max Polyakov on the path of automotive engineering happened a couple of years after the toy car saga. The Polyakov family has been a Christian home from the onset. But in the past few years, the parents have been very inactive in church activities. In one of those late night discussions, they agreed that since the kids were now in their teenage years, it would be good to get them on the path of Christian teachings. This, they believed, would help shape them in terms of morality. So they chose a one-month evening program on Youths and Morality for their children.
Three days into the program, something happened. It was four o’clock on a Wednesday evening and the program normally started at 5. Max Polyakov’s elder brother and his younger sisters were ready to be driven to the church by their father but Max was nowhere to be found. They looked for him for more than 30 minutes to no avail. Their mother suggested that the dad should drive the others to church. She decided to wait for Max to come back so that the two of them would head to church. But while Mr Charles was taking the kids to church, he saw someone that resembled Max sitting with other apprentice mechanics at the mechanic workshop. He killed the car engine, walked up to them and asked what he was doing there. The kid told him that he has been coming here on some evenings to learn how to fix cars. He was just 15 at that time and at his final year in high school. There and then, his father decided that once Max was through with high school, he would enrol him into an automotive training school. He also considered the mechanical engineering department of the state university as the next option.
The automotive training school was located in the neighbouring town, and Max Polyakov was to commute from home every day. It was a 2-year program, during which he was to choose from Automotive Service, Auto Parts & Warehousing, Auto Detailing, and Automotive Hybrid Technology. They also offered Automotive Service Consultancy, Auto Body Estimating, Cfc Regulation Air Conditioning, and many other. The institution had a practice whereby the new entrants were allowed to do a sort of introduction. This involved their names, age and origin, what inspired them to come to school and what they intended to do after their training. Max Polyakov did not waste any time in telling them that his father’s Iveco Daily vans inspired him. Max Polyakov went further to say that he had the intention of opening up a garage that would be called FireFly when he is through with the training. For Max Polyakov, the name FireFly was inspired by a sticker his dad had on the rear window of his personal van. He also said that he intends to make FireFly Auto Home the number one service in the entire city.
Max Polyakov’s stay in the school was monumental. He got involved in a lot of courses and innovations in auto repair and ended up as one of the best specialists in the field.
When Max Polyakov graduated from the automotive school, he worked in an auto mechanic workshop in town for one year to gather the hands-on experience as an intern. During this period, he saved up some money. When the program was over, he came home and told his father about his plan of opening the FireFly Garage. His father, who was no longer active in the removal business, inquired about where he intended to set up the garage. Max told him that he was considering his removal storage yard. Surprisingly, he told his father he was ready to go into a lease agreement with him and to make the down payment with the money he has saved during his internship. But Mr Charles let out a very long laugh which surprised Max. After the laugh, he told him to keep his money, and that he already thought of leaving the land for him to use as a garage, even before he asked. That signalled the birth of the FireFly Auto Garage.
It sits on a large area of land that covers more than 2 acres. Max Polyakov, now professional auto mechanic, started by erecting the essential structures on the land with his internship savings. He modernized the entire arena and brought in all the needed equipment through a grant he got from the local government. He also employed 10 more technicians. They developed FireFly into a garage that is capable of handling up to 8 cars at the same time while the parking area can contain up to 50 cars.
FireFly rose to prominence when Max got a contract to service all the government-owned vehicles in Lyon. This became possible due to his expertise and excellent customer service. It entails that all the vans belonging to government agencies and ministries are serviced at FireFly. It made Max Polyakov a prominent auto mechanic in the corridors of power and spread his story to the entire city of Lyon.