The Advanstar Automotive Group has announced that George’s Sierra Shell in Fontana, Calif., is the 2014 Motor Age Top Shop. Owned by Doug Whiteman, George’s Sierra Shell is a 1,200-square foot mechanical repair facility with three bays that has been in business for 42 years.
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Whiteman is an ASE Master Tech, a Certified Undercar Specialist and the 2008 Los Angeles ASE Technician of the Year. George’s Sierra Shell is a NAPA Auto Care Center, an AAA Approved Repair Shop since 2008, a part of the Automotive Training Institute (ATI) since 2005 and a member of the Better Business Bureau of Southern California since 1995.
According to Tschanen Brandyberry, Motor Age managing editor, several things set the shop apart including its growth, having recently added a valet entrance and a phase two plan to add two more repair bays. In addition, Brandyberry says Whiteman works “on his business, not in it.”
The company provides training outside of the workplace, including how to personally budget, save and grow financially. George’s Sierra Shell also revamped its marketing, hiring an employee to contact customers daily which resulted in a 20 percent increase in sales over 2013.
“George’s Sierra Shell placed in the top 10 in 2013, but really showed a focused effort in improving the business in the last year,” said Brandyberry. “From working with coaches at ATI to employing vendors with marketing experience, Doug and his staff really focused on improving the business overall in the last year.”
Brandyberry said that while the business has been around for more than 40 years, the staff stays up-to-date on what today’s vehicles need. In addition to the mandatory training all employees complete for their jobs, she says training on things like their financial well-being shows the company really cares about their employees.
In commenting on this year’s competition, Brandyberry said, “This year’s batch of entries included a number of first-time entrants. It’s great to see all of these new shops and the unique offerings that they provide their employees and customers. We hope that other shop owners take away some new ideas from these honored businesses.”
The shop will be featured on the cover of December’s Motor Age. In addition to an in-depth story on the operations of George’s Sierra Shell, the magazine will cover the other nine shops that made the 2014 Top Shops list (in alphabetical order):
• Avalon Motorsports, Denver
• Dynamic Automotive, Urbana, Md.
• Haglin Automotive & Boulder Transmission, Boulder, Colo.
• Lake Arbor Automotive & Truck, Westminster, Colo.
• Rad Air Complete Car Care, Parma Heights, Ohio
• RM Automotive, Northridge, Calif.
• Tri-City Transmission, Tempe, Ariz.
• Victory Auto Service & Glass, Fridley, Minn.
• Zimmerman’s Automotive, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
The 2014 Motor Age Top Shop competition was sponsored by Kia Genuine Parts and Mitchell 1.
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