A change in name and business model doesn’t necessitate an alteration in attitude. For one, Lake Arbor Automotive and Truck is still owned by founder Dana ToPoel — ever dedicated to environmental and community concerns, and always abiding by his mantra: “do the right thing for you [the customer], every time.”
In the entire history of transmission repair, few center owners have started out better prepared for building a successful business than Doug and Mary Scott, the new owners of the Cottman center in Independence, Mo.
Gabe Parker once swore he’d never work in a repair shop. Yet here he is at J&L Auto Service in Chamblee, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, wrenching on everything from pickup trucks to supercars when he’s not managing the shop for his dad, Randy.
When a shop is called Smith Auto Repair, you have to do something special to stand out a bit. Fortunately Smith’s reputation is firmly founded on electrical repair, when they started off rebuilding generators, alternators and starters nearly 70 years ago in Yakima, Wash.
As a CPA, Bill Hunter was helping oversee the dissolution of his father’s trucking company, Hunter Intermodal Transportation (HIT). Started in 1988, the firm was closing its doors after the 2008 recession, but Bill saw an inkling of something worth salvaging. While looking over a maintenance facility they still had under lease, he came up with an idea.
Techway Automotive is only four and half years old, but its growth has been—to put it mildly-- explosive. This Dothan, AL business started in a 5,000 square foot facility, but recently moved into a 33,000 square feet building. Take a moment to picture that in your head.
Started in 1928 by Joe Wilhelm, Garman’s grandparents took over in 1978 what was then a single shop in Peoria. They had five sons, all of whom participated in the business; by 1988 Garman’s father began the process of expansion when he opened a second store.
Back in 1985, $400 was pretty much what Scott Larsen and Mike Kuczynski had between them—actually mostly Larsen-- when they started Cadillac Specialists. Even figuring for inflation, how the heck did they pull that off?
Like any new business owner, Ron Haugen was all verve and vigor when he opened Westside Auto Pros in 1997. A repair shop on the outskirts of Des Moines, Iowa, he soon realized all his experience as a technician just wasn’t cutting it when it came to commerce.
Operated by Dana and Judi Haglin out of Boulder, CO, the 2015 Top Shop is naturally on the cutting edge of repair practices. As reported previously, the Haglins pride themselves not on responding to the market, but anticipating it. Telematics, GDI, Millennials—they stay on top of issues through conferencing and thorough research.
Motor Age is again seeking the best of the best to highlight as our 2015 Top Shops! Whether you think your shop is one of the overall best in U.S., or that you excel in one area, here is a chance to get recognized in the Top Shops section of December's Motor Age print issue.
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