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Atlantic Motorcar Center

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Photo courtesy of Atlantic Motorcar Center

SHOP: Atlantic Motorcar Center  LOCATION: Wiscasset, Maine  OWNER: Bruce Howes

1)  Atlantic Motorcar has what owner Bruce Howes calls a “show-and-tell” process with customers, bringing them back into the shop to demonstrate the needs of their vehicle. Because of that, Howes wants his shop to have as professional and aesthetically pleasing look as possible. It’s why he opts for brighter colors and keeps the floor immaculate using a floor-washing machine after every job is completed.

2) The shop specializes in imports, particularly German and Swedish vehicles. That’s why Swedish, German, British and Italian flags hang from the ceiling, as much for ambiance as for a gentle reminder of the shop’s professional focus.

3) The blue-striped flooring helps Atlantic Motorcars continue a color scheme seen throughout the facility, but it also was chosen for a very specific reason: “If it’s even a little dirty, that blue will show it,” Howes says. “By looking at how clean that area is, customers get an idea of just how close we pay attention to the details.”

4)  Four, 15-foot, glass-and-aluminum doors give vehicle access to both ends of the shop (two on each end). Howes tries to give the shop as much natural light as possible, creating a more comfortable workplace. “They can see the snow falling outside in the winter, and can work with the doors wide-open in the summer,” he says. “Having a comfortable work area helps tremendously with employee retention and in recruiting as well.”

5)  The shop has four lift bays, five flat work spaces and one side bay. The bays are angled and positioned in a way to allow for efficient workflow, Howes said.

6)  Speaking of workflow, all the diagnostic equipment is kept in the flat bays, while the tools and equipment needed for repairs rests against one wall, no more than a 3-foot walk for any of the shop’s technicians.

7)  Howes also says his shop focuses on getting the best value in all its equipment purchases, which is why he spent a great deal of time researching before purchasing these two-post lifts from Rotary Lift.


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