Building Auto Repair Business is a Family Affair

By Helen Wolt, as published in Delray Forum, March 18, 2015

Building Auto Repair Business is a Family Affair
Andrew Engel, owner and technician, realized a life-long dream when he purchased auto repair business in Delray Beach.

Andrew Engel’s lifelong passion for cars has steered him into the world of business. The 28-year-old recently opened AutoWorks, an auto repair shop in Delray Beach.

“It’s a dream come true,” Engel said. “I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity.”

After completing an 18-month automotive technology course and working at other local shops, Engel saw advantages to owning. He could be more productive by putting his mechanical aptitude and hospitality management skills (from previous jobs) to work for himself.

Engel researched the market. After three months, he bought an existing shop at 1501 SW 10th St. in Delray, one block east of Congress Avenue and close to Linton Boulevard and Interstate 95. His parents joined to help set up the operation and manage the office.

“The shop has been in operation for more than 30 years,” said Karl Engel, Andrew’s father. The former owner purchased the business from his father many years earlier and was selling to move out of state.

“It had a fairly large client base. We have been able to retain most of those people,” Karl Engel said.

Vintage car collector Bruce Kovack will keep bringing his vehicles to AutoWorks. He was a friend of the former owner and a regular customer for 15 years.

“The old owner stayed on with them for a couple of months,” Kovack said. “I asked him ‘Do I stay here or go elsewhere?’ His answer was, ‘Absolutely, stay’… It was a good recommendation.”

Recently Kovack came into the shop needing an axle, brake and rear bearing repair.

“There was no up-selling. What you need is what you get,” Kovack said. “They gave me an option for a new part, but said this could go in next year. That’s why I’m remaining with them. I see what kind of people they are.”

The Engels are moving ahead with shop updates. A heavy duty, 12,000-ton lift capable of hoisting fully-loaded work vans is being installed this week. And new computer software boosts the efficiency of estimates. It cuts time by providing parts lists.

“I can write up an estimate without getting on the phone with parts people and give customers a pretty accurate estimate,” Andrew Engel said. “I often come in under the estimate.”

Technician Luis Sarmiento works in the shop with Andrew Engel. Sarmiento brings 35 years of experience and is A.S.E. (Automotive Service Excellence) certified.

“He goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Andrew Engel said.

AutoWorks has a wheel alignment bay and is getting a lot of referral work from nearby shops. They offer discounts for fleets. Pickups, vans, classics, American and Asian cars steadily rotate through the bays.

“I love the variety that comes in,” Andrew Engel said. “Everyday it’s a new puzzle; I love the challenge.”

 

 

 

Atlantic-Ave-March-pic-2-v1New Ownership Lifts Quality of Service and Repairs at AutoWorks

Young entrepreneur turns passion for fixing cars into successful business

By Nicol Jenkins, as published in Atlantic Ave Magazine, March 2015

For over 30 years, AutoWorks in Delray Beach has maintained its reputation as a trusted auto repair shop in the community. Now under new ownership, AutoWorks Delray Beach has heightened customer service and added top of the line equipment to enhance your total car care experience.

As the new owner, Andrew Engel recognizes that customer relationships are critical to establishing a sound and robust business- and has kept that personal touch as the focus of the shop.

He is one of the youngest owners and operators of a business in Palm Beach County. After several positions at auto repair and body shops and after his 28th birthday, Andrew decided that he could be more productive if he worked for himself. After 3 months of researching various opportunities, he purchased an existing auto repair shop at 1501 SW 10th Street in Delray Beach and launched AutoWorks, now operating the shop with his entrepreneurial parents, Karl and Styliani.

Despite his young age, Andrew has many years of experience working on vehicles of all makes and models. His interest in cars started when he was just a boy and turned into his occupation 2 years ago after completing the 18-month course in automotive technology at Lincoln College. After finishing the course, he worked at two local auto shops and shortly thereafter decided to go off on his own.

“Ever since I can remember I’ve loved everything about cars. When I was 18, I started working on cars and never stopped,” said Andrew.

Like the AutoWorks name, Andrew has established a strong reputation for honesty and high-quality work. Everything from a simple oil change and brake pads or tires to rebuilding an entire engine, Andrew and his certified master technician Luis can help you get back on the road. They focus on American and Asian vehicle repairs along with high end European vehicles.

The local shop has a personal touch that can’t be found at the larger chain shops, fair and reasonable prices, along with an impeccable waiting room with wireless Internet. They even offer a free shuttle service to your office or home.

Another unique feature is an expansive 4,375 square feet facility complete with a tire mounting and balancing machine, seven bays and six lifts. Two of those lifts are specifically designed to handle heavy-duty pick-up trucks, vans and light diesels. Each can carry a load of 12,000 pounds, more than enough to handle any larger size vehicle. AutoWorks also services fleet accounts, which is any small business with three or more vehicles. This entitles the customer to significant savings on the normal labor rate, as well as expedited service. Thirty-day credit terms can also be extended to fleet accounts who qualify.

Atlantic-Ave-March-Pic-1v1“Not too many technicians are capable of working on these trucks and not too many shops have the lifts that can handle the weight. Our master technician has many years of experience specifically working on pick-up trucks and vans. And we can work on anything from an F-150 up to a RAM 3500,” Andrew added.

Even though the shop had been in business repairing cars and other vehicles in that location since 1983, the previous owner was moving on and a new management had to gain the trust of existing customers – almost starting from scratch. Andrew greets all of his customers with a big grin from ear-to-ear. He is able to connect with new and existing customers, making them feel comfortable.

Embarking on this new venture was less daunting after Andrew’s parents decided to come out of retirement and help set up operating procedures and fully automate the shop, including a Website and Facebook page, and working with a local SEO company to get on all the Internet directory sites. They also deal with vendors and suppliers, manage the business side of the shop, making sure that the daily operations run as smoothly as possible. This allows Andrew and his lead certified technician to focus solely on servicing and repairing vehicles. And it makes AutoWorks truly a family-owned and operated business.

“That’s what we do best: we know how to fix cars, trucks, vans…and we love doing that,” Andrew says.

“It’s a personal relationship business,” Andrew continues. “We have to start by establishing a relationship that is based on trust. We address our customer’s concerns about their vehicle. We will not repair anything on the car that is not broken. We will not repair anything on the car that is not approved by our customers. We will repair the vehicle quickly and we will do that in the most affordable way. We offer a personal touch and we often drive our customers to and from their home while their car is being repaired.”

“While we are doing all this, we are courteous, friendly, and professional,” Andrew said. “We treat customers with respect – the way we would want to be treated ourselves.”

Their customers agree. AutoWorks and its staff have over 30 positive reviews on various sites.

“This is a fine facility, outstanding in both diagnosis and service. Several problems were solved, efficiently and within a day. We need more like AutoWorks and I won’t hesitate to recommend,” stated one customer.

Another satisfied customer praised, “Andrew and his family were fantastic to deal with. The job I needed was done in a timely manner and I was treated well. I recommend AutoWorks to anyone.”

AutoWorks is located at 1501 SW 10th Street Delray Beach, FL 33444. For more information, call 561-272-7451. You can also visit them on their website at autoworksdelray.com. Like them on Facebook!

 

Fixing cars was what he always wanted to do

When he turned 28, Andrew Engel took the leap and opened his own repair shop

Fixing cars was whathe always wanted to do and when he turned 28, Andrew Engel decidedto take the leap and open his ownrepair shop in Delray Beach
Andrew Engel, owner and technician of AutoWorks, and two ASE-certified technicians love fixing cars, trucks, and vans.

DELRAY BEACH, FL, Feb. 17, 2015 – One of the youngest owners and operators of a business in Palm Beach County, Andrew Engel has opened AutoWorks, a complete car care repair shop in Delray Beach, FL. After several positions at auto repair and body shops and after his 28th birthday, Andrew decided that he could be more productive if he worked for himself. After 3 months of researching various opportunities, he purchased an existing auto repair shop at 1501 SW 10th Street in Delray Beach and launched AutoWorks.

His interest in cars started when he was just a boy and turned into his occupation 2 years ago after completing the 18-month course in automotive technology at Lincoln College. After finishing the course, he worked at two local auto shops and shortly thereafter decided to go off on his own.
After reviewing a number of shops for sale in Palm Beach County, he settled on one in Delray Beach.

The AutoWorks facility is a large free-standing structure. For 30 years, the yellow-and-blue building was the home to Automotive Inc., which had established a strong reputation for honesty and high-quality work at fair and reasonable prices. And Andrew wanted AutoWorks to work hard to keep that same level of high quality with a personal touch not found at the larger chain shops.

The location of the shop is particularly appealing, SW 10th Street, just west of downtown Delray, one block east of Congress Avenue, past the I-95 overpass.

“The shop is on a corner of a very busy street with lots of traffic; only one block off Congress, very close to Linton and I-95. The shop is big, open and airy, has very high ceilings, and when the bays are open, there’s a lot of natural light and always a breeze.”

Fixing Cars was what he always wanted to do and when he turned 28, Andrew Engel decided to take the leap and open his own repair shp in Delray Beach
AutoWorks facility was updated and upgraded after Andrew Engel purchased from previous owner of 30 years.

The shop is about 4,375 square feet and is highly visible, having been painted yellow and blue and standing tall on a busy corner. There are seven bays and six lifts. Two of the lifts are designed to handle heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans.

“I love these big trucks,” Andrew confesses. “They’re a challenge. Not too many technicians are capable of working on these trucks and not too many shops have the lifts that can handle the weight. Our master technician, Luis, has many years of experience specifically working on pick-up trucks and vans. And I’ve been very successful whenever I’ve worked on a truck, anything from an F-150 up to a RAM 3500.”

The AutoWorks shop has two heavy-duty lifts. Each can carry a load of 12,000 pounds, more than enough to handle any size pick-up truck or van. One lift was just added, increasing the number of lifts in the shop to six.

Even though the shop had been in business repairing cars and other vehicles in that location since 1983, the previous owner was moving on and a new management had to gain the trust of existing customers – almost starting from scratch. AutoWorks was, essentially, a start-up operation.

Andrew recognizes that customer relationships are critical to establishing a sound and robust business. Andrew is both personable and friendly, greeting all his customers with extended hand and a big smile. He is able to connect with new and existing customers, making them feel comfortable.

Although the shop came with all the proper equipment, including an alignment machine, some of the equipment needed to be upgraded and updated. The technicians needed to be able to work on a variety of American, Japanese, and Asian cars, trucks, and vans – and even some high-end European cars.
“My biggest concern was whether I would have the right tools and equipment to repair cars, trucks, vans … whatever vehicle came in the door on my first day at the shop,” Andrew says. Start-up capital was allocated to acquiring all the right tools and upgrading the equipment, enabling AutoWorks to compete with any shop in the area.

Another area of business Andrew intends to pursue for AutoWorks is fleet accounts. Any small business with three or more vehicles qualifies as a fleet account at AutoWorks. This entitles the customer to significant savings on the normal labor rate, as well as expedited service. Thirty-day credit terms can also be extended to fleet accounts who qualify.

Embarking on this new venture was less daunting after Andrew’s parents decided to come out of retirement and help set up operating procedures and fully automate the shop, including a Website and Facebook page, and working with a local SEO company to get on all the Internet directory sites. They also deal with vendors and suppliers, manage the business side of the shop, making sure that the daily operations run as smoothly as possible. This allows Andrew and his lead certified technician to focus solely on servicing and repairing vehicles. And it makes AutoWorks truly a family-owned and operated business.

“That’s what we do best: we know how to fix cars, trucks, vans … and we love doing that,” Andrew says.

“It’s a personal relationship business,” Andrew continues. “We have to start by establishing a relationship that is based on trust. We address our customer’s concerns about their vehicle. We will not repair anything on the car that is not broken. We will not repair anything on the car that is not approved by our customers. We will repair the vehicle quickly and we will do that in the most affordable way. We offer a personal touch and we often drive our customers to and from their home while their car is being repaired.

“While we are doing all this, we are courteous, friendly, and professional. We treat customers with respect – the way we would want to be treated ourselves.”

_________________________________________________________

AutoWorks LLC is a privately held, family-owned complete-service auto repair shop located in Delray Beach, FL. The repair shop was founded as Automotive Inc. in 1983 by Carl Ceraolo and passed it on to his son, Denis Ceraolo, who operated the shop until 2014. In October 2014, the shop was sold to Andrew Engel who changed the name of the shop to AutoWorks.

Contact:
Karl Engel
AutoWorks
1501 SW 10th Street
Delray Beach, FL 33444
561-272-7451
autoworksdelray.com

autoworksdelray@gmail.com