Kenny Logue has a rather simple business philosophy.
“If I can save you $10, I’ll save you $10. Then, you’ll come back the next time,” said Louge.
It’s a mantra that seems to work. In this town of only 319 people, Logue is expanding his business, A1 Automotive. He is putting the finishing touches on an expansion to his main shop on East Allen Street, and he is also looking to expand into another building about a block north.
“The shop down the road, we are trying to gear it up for heavy trucks,” Louge said.
A former utility maintenance worker for Olin, Louge began his mechanic career 35 years ago working on heavy equipment. But he has crafted his business to meet the needs of the community, taking on smaller jobs, too, such as lawn mower repair.
“We work on everything from chainsaws to semi trucks,” Louge said. “We are equipped to do everything, except body work.”
The shop has all new computer diagnostic equipment.
“We’ve got all the latest and greatest. We are equipped really well for the computer systems. That’s the biggie,” Louge said. “But we also weld. We do transmission work… air conditioning.”
Louge has one other mechanic, Derek Bellovich, but is looking at possibly adding another, when he gets his other shop up and running.
Logue describes his shop as a “family garage.”
“We are not here to up-sell you. If (a part) needs to be replaced, we’ll replace it,” he said.
He charges $60 per hour for non-commercial work and $75 per hour for heavy trucks.
“I’d rather stay busy and charge a little less than try and make it all off one guy. I’d like to keep them coming back,” Louge said.
Louge said he loves New Douglas and its sense of community.
“You get in a small community like this, and they want to see you succeed,” he said.
And his neighbors are great, he said.
“On all sides of me, I couldn’t get any better. That’s the cool part about being in New Douglas. You have to search pretty hard to find someone who’s ornery,” he said.
As a service to the community, Louge also has a barrel outside his shop were people can bring used motor oil to be recycled, free of charge.
A1 also has an “Auto Bucks” rewards program for repeat customers.
“It’s saved people a few bucks,” Louge said.
A1 also has an outfitted service truck and a car trailer, so they can do roadside assistance or bring a stranded vehicle back to the shop, if needed.
“And the computers out of the shop are all mobile. So, we can take them with us,” Louge said.
About A1 Automotive
Address: 201 E. Allen St., New Douglas
Office Phone: (618) 334-5886
Mobile Phone: (618) 781-1744
Hours: Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday. They will work by appointment during off hours.