Shop Name: Rick’s Automotive Inc.
Owner(s): Rick and Karen Hughlett
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Staff Size: 44
Shop Size: 28,000 square feet
Number of Bays: 28
Average Monthly Car Count: 1,400
Annual Revenue: $9.5 million
Rick Hughlett became a shop owner in the most peculiar way in 1980.“Before he owned it, he was working for a guy; I think it was like Lee's automotive. The guy took off one day and went to Vegas and was like, ‘Hey, just send
Rick took the shop over and turned a two-employee run shop in a 2,800 square foot space into a 28,000 square-foot enterprise comprised of three buildings that services general auto repair and fleet repair, which services two local hospitals.
"The visibility is beautiful. We have a nice huge display room that faces the street. We have big banners we put in there and we swap them out with different holidays, events, stuff like that,” Comfort says.
The service entrance is covered, similar to many dealerships, to enable customers to be valet parked. One of four porters then parks the customers' vehicles and provides any necessary transportation.
“We just tell customers to pull up under the awning, park the car there, come inside the lobby and we'll take it from there. We don't want our customers searching for a parking spot and/or then trying to walk a good distance just to get in," Comfort says.
“We have a few apprentices working under season techs that have taken a couple of courses. We do require all our technicians to be certified, so if they want to move up, they’ve got to get their ASE certs,” Comfort says.