On South Belt West and around the corner at South 10th Street in Belleville is Jerrod Davis' auto repair shop, Owner, Car-Tech Automotive. Davis has risen through the auto repair ranks over the past 25 years and has been operating his own business for the past year and a half. He recently talked shop with business writer Will Buss:
Q: How long has your shop been around?
A: "Car-Tech has been here for 20-plus years. I worked for Don Hall, who owned it before me. After 20-plus years, he came over to me and asked if I wanted to buy the place. I really wasn't in the position to buy it. So it took my wife and I about year to get financing together. It probably wasn't the best time to buy a business. The economy was still slow. We struggled a little bit because it's been slow. We're actually picking up a lot of new customers here and there from word of mouth and from other customers."
Q: How did you get into this business?
A: "I actually kind of fell into it. I started working on cars back in '89. I started changing tires and then someone offered to teach me how to do alignment. I was an alignment tech and wherever I went, I got involved in other things. Whenever someone said, 'You want to do this?,' I said, 'Sure. I'll do it.' I was self taught and never went to school. I'm good at what I do."
Q: What service do you provide?
A: "We do everything except for tires, but we still get better prices on tires through others as we work with other shops around here. We don't do transmission, but we have a transmission shop right next door here. We do brakes, tune ups, suspensions, anything and everything."
Q: How do you compete with other mechanics and those larger shops?
A: "I think I'm carrying on the tradition Don started at Car-Tech. We're very honest. We are very good at diagnosis. We try to get it done right the first time. We had a brand new customer going to a local competitor who wasn't very happy and he came here and we took care of his need and now we have a new customer. We really strive to take care of the customer first and foremost. We're willing to help them with anything they've got."
Q: So you have any future plans for the business?
A: "As long as this business comes back, and that's like everyone in this industry is wondering if business comes back. We might get business for a day or two and then it falls off again, then it gets busy for three weeks and then falls off. We do a lot of work here for two guys, when it's busy."
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2526.
Name: Jerrod Davis
Job: Owner, Car-Tech Automotive @ 935 B South Belt West in Belleville (618-234-8313)
Outlook: "We try to get it done right the first time."