Home » Shop View: German AutoWorks Inc. Shop Life Shop Views Shop View: German AutoWorks Inc. December 3, 2018 Kelly Beaton No Comments Order Reprints KEYWORDS auto German AutoWorks Maintenance retro service St. Louis Park 1. Cool Signage In the mid-1990s, Steve Sanders was a customer at what is now known as German AutoWorks Inc (GAW). He was so impressed by the business’s service that he soon bought a share of it. And, in 2010, he bought an even larger chunk of the business, which he now runs alongside company vice president Hunter Darth. And the business partners have tried to maintain the charm of a building that, according to city records, is 93 years old. They have maintained GAW’s old, hand-blown neon sign, for example, despite the fact the large signage requires periodic maintenance. Sanders says paying the occasional $500 bill for the maintenance is worth it, considering how often customers comment about the sign and post social media pictures of it. 2. Retro Waiting Area GAW’s retro theme carries over into the customer waiting area, which features antiques like a Coca Cola machine from 1957. The revolver-style machine still works, by the way, and a cold bottle of Coke can often be procured for 10 cents, to this very day. In the same vein, in the building’s attic, Sanders once found original Bosch tools marketing posters that date back to 1912. They have become quite the conversation starter with customers at the Bosch-authorized shop, and a few clients even helped translate the German writing that appears on the back of the marketing pieces. 3. Efficient Use of Space The suburban Minneapolis facility boasts an overall building that’s 5,500 square feet, but GAW’s shop floor is only about 4,000 square feet. And that, Sanders acknowledges, has created challenges in the past. Fortunately, employees can utilize a fairly new parking ramp that’s across the street. And the business’s leaders have learned to adapt, by taking measures like double parking around GAW’s 24 spaces. “The key,” says Sanders, “is to get people to pick [vehicles] up. And a lot of times we’ll actually shuttle the car back to their house, lock it, and put the key in a safe spot. You’ve got to take care of your customers. 4. Elaborate Remodel In the summer of 2018, much of GAW’s shop floor received a facelift. Over the course of four days in July, the floor had epoxy applied to it. Lo and behold, the project turned out so nicely that Sanders and Darth decided to epoxy the entire shop floor a couple months later. And, the business’s leaders invested nearly $8,000 in industrial cabinetry to aid their shop workers. The remodeling project “transformed the whole shop,” Sanders says. “This was an opportunity to really take it to the next level, and it came out nice. It’s amazing how happy the [employees] are now.” SHOP STATS Owners: Steve Sanders, Hunter Darth Location: St. Louis Park, Minn. Size: 5,500 square feet Staff Size: 7 Average Monthly Car Count: 150 Annual Revenue: $1.9 million Kelly Beaton is the associate editor for FenderBender and helps edit and produce content for the magazine. He has worked for 10 Missions Media since 2016. Recent Articles by Kelly Beaton Trademarking Your Shop Branding Shop View: Signal Garage Auto Care ASA’s New Executive Director Notes 2019 Goals Related Articles Shop View: Rick’s 36 Automotive Shop View: Signal Garage Auto Care Shop View: West Point Auto Works You must login or register in order to post a comment. Report Abusive Comment Thank you for helping us to improve our forums. Is this comment offensive? Please tell us why.