With limited space at their Old Vienna Road location, Tillsonburg C.A.R.S. owner Pat Buyse knew it would be difficult to take advantage of an opportunity to grow his business.
“We started to do a lot of older cars – and still maintained our regular clients – so room was an issue,” said Buyse.
A move was in order, and one of Buyse's Complete Auto Repair Service customers had an ideal site available. Up to date, environmentally friendly, efficient... and much bigger – nearly triple the space for their domestic and import servicing.
So, after more than a decade at 12 Old Vienna Road, Complete Auto Repair Service is moving to its new Tillsonburg location – not too far up Vienna Road to 7 Rouse Street. They expect to open the doors on Monday, November 4. An official 'grand opening' will be held after they're settled in, possibly in the spring.
“I was there (Old Vienna Road) for a little over 10 years,” said Buyse, who took over the C.A.R.S. business from Ken Hammond, who had also operated it for about 10 years.
“It's kind of a unique situation, the landlord here is into cars and a customer of mine. Originally I was reluctant, just because there's always more stress and more effort whenever you try to grow a business. I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. But he's been more than accommodating to make the building exactly the way it should be to operate efficiently. This all worked out for the best, I think.”
With the expansion, C.A.R.S. will be adding to its current two-man full-time workforce – Buyse and another technician.
“We're going to add one more technician now, and we're hoping to add another one later. So we're hoping to double the amount of mechanics.
“We have a full lineup of mechanical repairs for all makes and manufacturers. I would say our specialty is customer service. All the garages and all the repair facilities sell the same parts from the same suppliers – it's the people that make it different. We enjoy that. We enjoy our customers and look forward to new ones. And proving to them that we can make their automotive experience enjoyable. When it comes to auto repairs, everybody has to do it, and that's the way it should be.”
Maintenance is key, he stressed.
“It's a proven factor. If we see our customers on a regular basis we can prepare them for what needs to be done, and do a fix in its early stages when it's effective. The way the economy has gone, if you don't take care of your car they become disposable.”
Their free pickup and delivery service will continue, said Buyse, to help stay competitive with downtown facilities.
“We do have a loaner vehicle as well. And we have a showroom/waiting area, so if it's something people can wait for, they'll be comfortable.”
In addition to their roomy three-door garage area, they will have a larger separate 'clean' area, sectioned off from the regular repair area for classics.
“It's become such a big part of our business,” said Buyse, estimating about two-thirds of the classic cars at local shows are C.A.R.S. customers. “The classics are more time consuming, to do properly, and that's why we needed the extra space.”