For Phil Esposito, being in the transmission repair business comes naturally. “I love my work,” said the owner of the Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care center at South U.S. Highway17-92.
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Phil’s history with cars goes back to his teen years when he worked at a family-owned gas station in Latham, N.Y. He started pumping gas and checking under the hood, as gas station attendants normally did back in the 1980’s. He soon graduated to doing repairs on customers’ cars.
After high school, he began working at a Cottman Transmission center, and quickly became manager of the facility. When not at work, Phil got involved with drag racing at a local drag track, where he raced his 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix.
After three years managing the Latham shop, he moved to Marietta,GA, where he managed the Cottman center there. He soon bought the center and ran it for 13 years, before selling it and moving to Fern Park, just outside of Orlando, where in April, 2004, he bought the Cottman center he now owns.
“I love working on cars,” said Phil, “so this is the perfect business for me. Every day I get to indulge in my passion.” Thanks to his passion, Phil’s center has earned a stellar reputation in the community.
“Our emphasis is on customer service, and I talk with every customer” he said. “We test drive every car before and after we service it, to be absolutely sure the job is done right.” Other little touches help, such as returning each car thoroughly washed and cleaned. Phil also sends personalized follow-up cards to each customer.
Phil reports that 80 percent of his business is from repeat customers. “People know they can trust us,” he said. “To me and my crew, integrity is crucial.”
Phil admits that he’s a total “car guy.” When not working on customers’ cars, he works on his own dragsters. He has two Ford Mustangs, including a ’92 that has won many events in the Super Pro category. Pictures of his cars and various awards he’s won decorate the customer lounge at his Cottman center.
“I know I’m really lucky,” he said. “I love my work.”
Phil Esposito’s Cottman shop can be reached at www.cottmanoffernpark.com.
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