RR 197: Gary Pontious, Jr. from Toledo Auto Care

Gary Pontious Jr. is the Vice President and General Manager of Toledo Auto Care. Gary’s Dad, Gary Sr. bought the business in 1985. The business is Toledo’s oldest independent auto repair shop and is celebrating, in 2017, a special milestone; their 100th anniversary.

Second Location.
This past December 2016 they added their first branch operation.

Culture Drives the Family Business.
Gary started working at Toledo Auto Care in the summer of 1990 as a fuel tank repair/restoration technician and pick-up/delivery driver. As with most family business, Gary worked in many positions within the company and in April 1994 he became a full time Service Advisor. “Since the beginning,” Gary says, “our business has been focused on building strong customer relationships and providing the highest quality of workmanship on each and every automotive repair.”

Gary is a member of Elite Proservice with Jim Murphy and has his AAM Certification from Ami. Toledo Auto Care is also an ASE Blue Seal Shop.

Major episode talking points:

  • The search for a second location was started by writing letters to 12 targeted shop owners telling them of their intention to buy a business.
  • Believed in the E-Myth principles and worked hard in last 5 years creating strong processes and proceedures.
  • Gary credits their strong business culture as a big part of their remarkable results and

    Gary’s Dad, Gary Pontious, Sr.

    shares his companies purpose and core values.

  • Holds an annual meeting where there is a special yearly theme introduced. This year is ‘Be Your Best Self’. It not only reflects individually but the company’s Best Self.
  • He listens to podcasts as a way to stay up on leadership.
  • Gary has created his own service manager training and the team meets monthly.
  • Meets weekly with someone from the company for lunch to stay in touch with them and find out more about their families.
  • The strong emphasis on Culture has helped create the duplicity or his ability to scale his business.
  • Explains his interview process to help insure a good cultural fit.
  • Training goal for all team members is 40 hours per year structured in quarters for both online and a live event.
  • Advice for belonging to a twenty or mastermind group.
  • Positioning the company as a Hybrid Specialist.

Toledo Auto Care Website

Years in industry: 23
Number of technicians: 7
Service Managers: 3
Number of lifts: 13
Number of bays: 17
Days Open: Mon-Fri
Average Annual Training Hours Technicians: 40
Average Annual Training Hours Service Manager: 40
Interesting information on the business: Oldest independent repair shop in Toledo,OH
Annual estimated volume: $2MM
Special Accreditation's: AAM
Business Coach: Jim Murphy – Elite ProService
Supplier first call: NAPA – NAPA Car Care
Philanthropy: Calvary Church, Lucas County Children Serices

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This episode is brought to you by Federal-Mogul Motorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com

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.