RR 117: John Bridgwater from Wrights Automotive Service

John Bridgwater always wanted to know, “What makes it go?” At age five he took apartWrights Automotive 2 a mechanical adding machine just to see how it worked. Growing up, his father would work on the family van and John would always be by his side asking questions and learning everything he could. Today John Bridgwater and his wife own Wright’s Automotive Service in San Leandro, CA.

It all started with an extra credit high school project.
In high school John got a job with a local tire company, not for money but for high school credit and for the experience. He got his first paying job in the industry in 1987 working for a chain store. His manager took him under his wing and taught him everything he knew. Wrights Automotive 3-001John was promoted from tire installer to technician within a year and began focusing on diagnostics. After honing his skills for a few years, John became lead technician at an independent shop in northern California.

Path to ASE excellence.
John started to earn his ASE ASE World Class Technician Logocertifications early on and began networking with other technicians and shop owners. John was honored among eleven others as an Auto Care/ASE World Technician in 2015. In order to be considered for this award you must hold at least 22 ASE certifications. John currently has 49 certifications and he is working on the 50th.

John also was honored as the RepairPal/ASE technician of the year award in 2015.

Since the World Class Technician recognition was established 30 years ago, only 1,914 technicians have been honored. Recipients receive a special certificate signed by the presidents of ASE and the Auto Care Association and embroidered shoulder insignia. Additionally, their name is perpetually inscribed in an honor book located in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.

“Recipients of the World Class Technician Award are truly the best of the best and the Auto Care Association is proud to recognize these professionals with ASE,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Passing 22 ASE tests is a monumental achievement requiring exceptional knowledge and skills.”

Path to shop ownership.Wrights Automotive Logo
John Bridgwater has a very interesting story on his rise to shop ownership. He started in 1987 and became a shop owner in January 2015. John actually was recruited by a shop in the bay area that he and his wife eventually purchased. He waited a long time for the right opportunity.

Why Listen?
Catch his personal commitment to training and how he involves his technician team.
Learn about his ‘Knowledge is Power’ Car Care Clinics
Find out why he doesn’t do oil changes; he does Minor Maintenance Service instead.
Discover who he credits for helping to shape and make his career.

He is also outspoken on the proper pricing of jobs, the shop of the future and why he chooses his suppliers.

Shop Overview:

Years in industry: 29
Years in business ownership: 1.5
Number of technicians: 3
Other team members: 4
Number of lifts: 4.5
Number of bays: 6
Open: M-F
Annual estimated volume: $2M
Specialists: Emissions – Diagnostics
Industry involvement: ASCCA – iATN – AAA – RepairPal
Certifications: ASE Master (49 out of 50 certifications) – California lamp brake and smog licenses – ASE Blue Seal
Special Recognition: 2015 ASE/Auto Care World Technician of the Year. One of 12 outstanding individuals.
Business Coach: ATI
Supplier Program: AC-Delco

Wrights Automotive Service website here.


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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.