Shop View: Ellis Automotive

Jan. 19, 2023
A look inside of a 6-bay, 6,000 square foot Aurora, Colorado, auto repair shop. 

Ellis Automotive
Aurora, Colorado 

Owner: Rod Ellis
Staff Size: 10  
Shop Size: 6,000 square feet  
Number of Bays: 6  
Average Monthly Car Count: 500  
Annual Revenue: $2 million 

Founded in 1995 by Rod Ellis, Ellis Automotive in Aurora, Colorado was the recipient of the 2017 AAA top shop award, as well as the 2020 Top Shop of Colorado award winner. Semi-retired today, Rod Ellis helps the shop with its marketing while son Kiley runs the day-to-day operations alongside his service manager, Jim Marler, who came with the shop when the elder Ellis purchased it. The elder Ellis and Marler both have over 30 years of automotive service experience and continue to serve many of the original families who came to their shop, including the adult children and grandchildren of these customers.

Elis Automotive has six bays, “three in the front and three in the back,” says Kiley Ellis, and has ample parking typically—30 spaces—but he points out that he’s having trouble with parking due to a high influx of vehicles on the lot for repair.  

The lobby at Ellis is spacious, featuring white walls trimmed in red with a large red accent wall at the entrance. Couches and an easy chair make for comfortable seating for waiters.  

“We try to manage to do all of our waiters between 7 and 8 in the morning. Most of the time, I will schedule any waiters at 7:30 and they will be done by 8:30, and that's just oil changes,” says Kiley Ellis.  

The service area is in clear view of the entrance making it easy for his staff to connect with customers as they enter.  

"Right as you come in, you're greeted by somebody … it's very open,” he says.  

To the left of the service desk is a door leading into the shop, which Kiley Ellis says is full of much of the latest equipment on the market.  

"For the most part, all my lifts are new so we are really focused on also having the best equipment possible. So, over the last two or three years, I think I've put two or three new lifts in, so each guy has their own new lift. I bought a brand-new brake lathe for them. The tire balance machine is like 10 years old, but I mean it was the latest and greatest technology when we bought it. The tire balance or the tire mounting machine is pretty much brand new, or it's 10 years old too. I have two brand new Zeus scan tools. I have another Snap-On scan tool, a Solus. Two of everything: two transmission jacks, one for dropping fuel tanks and one for transmissions. I mean everything is brand new," Kiley Ellis says. 

About the Author

Chris Jones | Editor

Chris Jones is the editor of Ratchet+Wrench magazine and host of its companion podcast, Ratchet+Wrench Radio, a weekly show featuring automotive professionals across the auto care landscape.

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