Shop View: McCart’s Auto Center

July 8, 2021
After 18 months of planning, a well-designed remodel succeeds in catching the eye.

SHOP STATS: McCart's Auto Center  Location: Conyers, Ga.  Owner: Kelly McCart  Average Monthly Car Count: 175  Total Staff Size: 6  Shop Size: 5,600 square feet  Number of Lifts: Annual Revenue: $740,000

Stand Out From the Crowd

Back in 2018, McCart’s Auto Center in Conyers, Ga. was a blur in the background. As a decidedly nondescript tan structure next to a series of other tan nondescript businesses, nothing about McCart’s stood out. 

“We just kept hearing, ‘Oh, I’ve been passing by here for years and never noticed you,’” says owner Kelly McCart. “Even when we got referrals in the door, they’d be surprised. We were fully blending in.”  

McCart got to work on a plan and spent the next 18 months strategizing a remodel designed for curb appeal. 

Total Transformation

McCart concepted the shop’s new look himself, then hired a contractor to secure permits and carry out the design.

Part of the shop’s face was removed and reconstructed in a single day to create a faux wood focal point and new built-in window to allow for more natural light and give staff more visibility of the shop’s front lot.

A sleek matte front door awning and new flood lights were also added to draw the eye, while inside fresh coats of paint, vinyl window decals, and new signage were added to match the shop’s new external look. 

New look. New brand

McCart planned every element of the remodel intentionally and extensively to coincide with a full shop rebrand (which previously operated under the names McCart's Auto Sales and McCart's Pro Auto).

He enlisted his nephew, a graphic designer, to draft a simpler shop logo and selected an electric green as the color of the shop’s new brand. “I wanted the new logo to pop but that green also goes so well on a dark background,” says McCart. Slate gray paint was used for the shop’s new look, “but that dark background also comes in handy on things like uniforms when you’re a tech and you don’t want to show everything you got on yourself that day,” he says. “A lot of those 18 months were spent thinking through those little details.”

An Investment With Impact

With an ultimate goal of building brand awareness, McCart says the remodel was well worth the ROI, attracting new and curious customers on a regular basis. 

“Now we get people stopping in all the time and one of their first questions is always about the design,” he says. “We’re 40 miles out of Atlanta, but we’re always hearing how now we look like a boutique operation you’d see in the city, not on the outskirts of town. We’re turning heads.”

About the Author

Megan Gosch

Megan Gosch is the associate editor of Ratchet+Wrench, where she produces content and oversees production of the publication.

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