Shop View: Arrow Automotive

Oct. 2, 2023
This Reno, Nevada, auto repair shop has the style and flair of the Southwest.

Shop Name: Arrow Automotive
Owner(s): Monte and Trudy Craig
Location: Reno, Nevada
Staff Size: 10
Shop Size: 14,000 square feet
Number of Bays: 12
Average Monthly Car Count: 275
Annual Revenue: $ 3.6 million 

Monte Craig opened Arrow Automotive in Reno, Nevada, 37 years ago at age 19. In 2007, the shop underwent a custom rebuild that Craig said took four design changes before landing on the Southwestern style seen today.  

Green and Sustainable 

Arrow Automotive adopted green and sustainable practices long before they were common, says Craig. Everything from the shop’s insulation and lighting
to how it manages waste reflects its environmental commitment.  

“We tried to do everything green. That was a big deal to me. We have R-15 (insulation) in the ceilings. We use Clean Burn to burn the waste oil we produce from servicing vehicles. We use evaporative air conditioners in the summertime to keep the technicians comfortable and productive. We use Daystar, which are reflective lights like skylights that have mirrors inside of them that produce a great deal of interior light,” Craig says. 

Maintaining Standards 

One of the next projects on Craig’s to-do list is a lobby refresh. He believes presentation is everything and that shops need to keep up with the changing expectations of customers, much the same as other industries. 

“We've learned through good coaching in the last three years that our entire business model needed to be updated and changed. Just because we're 37 years old doesn't mean we're doing it right,” Craig says. “Fast food refreshes every 10 years, and I think auto repair needs to the same way, especially if you want to compete on the dealership level or the vehicle maintenance level.” 

Organization for Mobilization 

Arrow Automotive technicians operate on a hybrid system of digital and analog tools. While the shop is digital, Craig says his technicians prefer to
document repairs on paper for higher accuracy in reporting.  

“We have a hybrid system. We do most of our stuff electronically. The main reason we have the clipboards is that the technicians like having something that they can hold on to or write on … and theoretically, we could switch to a paperless system, but we find that it's not as user-friendly for the customer. We miss a lot of detail because we don't transcribe as much (digitally) as you would if you hand-wrote it,” Craig 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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