Shop View: Henn Automotive Inc.

Nov. 22, 2023
A visit to Michael and Susan Henn's Waxhaw, North Carolina, auto repair shop.

Shop Name:  Henn Automotive Inc.
Owner(s):  Michael and Susan Henn
Location:  Waxhaw, North Carolina
Staff Size:  16 employees
Shop Size:  4,800 Sq ft.
Number of Bays:  8
Average Monthly Car Count:  430
Annual Revenue:  $2.6 million 

When Michael Henn marched into his bank to apply for a small business loan, the banker looked over his business plan, pointed to Henn’s projected volume—60-70 cars per month—looked Henn, and told him he’d never hit it. Loan denied. Undeterred, but with something to prove, Henn cut his car count down to 30 and within his first month, his shop had serviced over 120 cars. He went back to the bank—beyond vindicated—and was granted his loan. 

Today, he runs Henn Automotive, which has a monthly car count of 430, alongside his wife, Susan. 

Hand to the Plow 

Henn broke ground on the shop in 1998 with the help of hired subcontractors. The project took a year to complete. 

“It's a concrete block building, so all of the subs were hired, but as far as building the office and building walls and putting floors down, I did all that stuff myself. I prepped everything,” Henn says.  

A Touch of Country 

The lobby is built out using cedar to create a southern country feel. Henn set the trim work and Susan decorated. 

“Our waiting (area) is mostly for our inspection and oil changes so people are in and out. It's comfortable, but it's not huge. You could spend a day there if you wanted to, it's very homey feeling,” says Susan Henn. 

The shop does inspections and oil changes by appointment. A dedicated tech does these every half hour from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

A Gallery of Experts 

Henn says they’re known for fixing a lot of what he calls “oddball problems”—fixing vehicles dealerships don’t want and can’t fix. His technicians solve it. 

“I've massed a group of mechanics that are just absolutely phenomenal. Each one's kind of got their specialty. And we've built a reputation for fixing things, not just throwing parts at cars," says Henn.  

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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