AAMCO Springfield Business Owner to Retire After 50 Years

William Harrison is retiring from his Springfield transmission shop after a fire, some bat poop and forty years of repairing cars for customers in Clark County.

Harrison, an early franchisee for the AAMCO transmission chain, grew up on a farm in southern Illinois but moved to Columbus while working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. What he really loved was working on cars though, so he used his savings and a loan to buy one of the few AAMCO franchises on North High Street in the city in in 1967. The chain had just started working with franchisees three years earlier.

Rob Adams & William Harrison of AAMCO Springfield, OH

He ran that business for a decade until he was asked to look into a Springfield business when the previous owner became ill. One of his employees at the time asked about buying the Columbus store, and Harrison never looked back.

“I quoted him a price and the next thing I knew, he had a partner and bought it,” Harrison said. “I bought a boat.”

Although it’s part of a national chain, Harrison said the business has been successful partly because he was active in his church and numerous community events. And he said his employees have been able to adapt well to changes in the industry, particularly as vehicles have become more complex. Now, employees have to be both computer technicians and mechanics, he said.

When possible, he tried to buy as many parts as possible from local companies.

AAMCO Springfield, OH

“People still see us in the community and the money is not being pumped into a huge corporation,” Harrison said.

The business has faced some struggles, including a fire that burnt the transmission shop to the ground in the 1970s. It took four months for Harrison to rebuild his business, and in the meantime his staff worked in a warehouse on Cliff Street that was used to store freight cars. But that wasn’t what Harrison remembers the most.

“We had to watch where we parked our cars because the bats would poop on them,” he joked.

Now, Harrison is passing along the business to Rob Adams, his stepson. Both the national chain and the Springfield business with its nine employees are in good hands moving forward, Harrison said.

It will be difficult to leave, but he said he plans to let Adams run the business his own way to allow it to move forward. Still, his hands-on approach was one part of what made the business survive four decades.

“I’m a workaholic,” Harrison said. “It took a long time to realize that.”

In the meantime, the business is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a daily trivia game and 50 days of prizes on its Facebook page, and an open house on July for customers.

“Anybody that’s owned a business for this long has got stories,” Harrison said.

If you go:
What: AAMCO Springfield Open House
Where: 1512 W. Columbia St., Springfield
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 1, 2017

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AAMCO Franchise Ranked "Best Of The Best" By Entrepreneur Magazine

AAMCO announced today it has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a 2017 “Best of the Best,” ranking at the top of its industry category for the third consecutive year. Collectively, AAMCO has been ranked number one in category on the “Best of the Best” listing for more than three decades.

“We’re honored to once again be named among the ‘Best of the Best’ franchises,” said Brett Ponton, CEO and president of American Driveline and AAMCO Transmission, Inc. “We take pride in the work we do and being acknowledged as the leader in our industry category truly speaks volumes about the processes and systems we have established as part of our overall growth strategy. We look forward to riding this momentum into the second half of the year, and will remain focused on providing top-notch service and expertise to our customers.” 

Entrepreneur’s “Best of the Best” companies are selected from the Franchise 500® list based on ranking within their industry. The companies are evaluated based on Entrepreneur‘s objective, quantifiable criteria, including system size, growth rate and financial strength and stability. The results qualify the top ranked company in each industry category to be named on the “Best of the Best” list.

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AAMCO Franchisee Opens Second Location In Medford, Oregon

AAMCO announced today it has expanded in Oregon with the opening of its first location in Medford. The new auto repair shop is located at 3112 Crater Lake Avenue and features eight full service repair bays, transmission, auto repair and fleet services. The location is owned and operated by longtime AAMCO franchisee Kyle Reber, who has owned AAMCO of Roseburg since April 2005.

AAMCO of Medford, OR

“For the past 12 years, AAMCO has provided me with ongoing support and resources that are second to none,” said Reber. “Automotive repair is a lucrative industry, and given the success I have experienced in Roseburg, I saw an opportunity to expand my business to Medford. I look forward to serving the community for many years.”

AAMCO of Medford, OR

Reber will continue to operate the Roseburg service center, and with the help of his family, will also run the new location in Medford. The entrepreneur’s business philosophy is based on customer service, which he plans to instill in the new employees hired for the shop.

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AAMCO Franchise Named One of 2017's LearningElite For Its Training Program

AAMCO has been named a 2017 LearningElite award winner by Chief Learning Officer magazine. This robust, peer-reviewed ranking and benchmarking program honors organizations for exemplary workforce development strategies that deliver significant business results. Named among more than 60 other national organizations across various industries, AAMCO was recognized for the second consecutive year for its state-of-the-art training curriculum and facility, AAMCO University, which includes over 300 comprehensive training courses designed for its franchise owners, customer service managers and technicians.

AAMCO University located in Newnan, GA

“Dedication to ongoing learning and development for our franchise owners and their employees plays a critical role in AAMCO’s success, and we are honored to be recognized for our best-in-class performance in that area,” said Brett Ponton, CEO and president of American Driveline and AAMCO Transmission, Inc. “As the automotive repair industry continues to evolve and become more complex, it is our commitment to both professional development and technical mastery that gives AAMCO the edge in employee and customer satisfaction.”

Developed under the guidance of a group of chief learning officers and senior learning and development practitioners, the LearningElite program ranks the best organizations based upon their impact, size and industries served. A comprehensive evaluation of learning and development, the LearningElite list also recognizes individual companies for their efforts in functional areas, including leadership development, use of technology, executive buy-in, and content development and delivery, among others.

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April is National Car Care Month

According to CarCare.org and the non-profit Car Care Council, April is designated as National Car Care Month. With the warmer weather season finally here, it's time to get your vehicle ready for spring driving and summer road trips. National Car Care Month serves as a reminder to take care of any issues that may have occurred or have been ignored during winter.

The Car Care Council, the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care and maintenance to consumers, says that spring driving brings its own hazards such as slick, wet roads. Because of these seasonal driving conditions, the council touts the importance of making sure tires, brakes and windshield wipers are all in good working order.

The vehicle repair and service experts at AAMCO can provide all of the maintenance needs, as specified in your owner’s manual. At AAMCO, we know that winter driving can wreak havoc on brake components and road salt can corrode brake pads & accelerate damage.

Symptoms like squealing, squeaking or grinding when pressing on the brake pedal, a lower than normal brake pedal or decreased stopping ability, may mean there is a safety issue within the brake system. The longer the condition exists, the worse it can get, by potentially damaging other components, increasing the cost to repair the issue and the impending danger of failing to stop safely.

Annual inspections & proper maintenance are important in order to avoid failures to the brake system. Call for a convenient appointment or stop in today for a FREE Brake System Check, by the brake diagnostic and repair experts, at your local participating AAMCO Total Car Care center. For over 50 years, AAMCO has been committed to keeping you and your family safe on the road during the unpredictable weather of early spring and all year long. Trust AAMCO to keep your car, truck or SUV operating in peak condition.

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AAMCO Franchise of San Rafael Receives "Automotive Repair Center of the Year" Award

AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. (“AAMCO”), franchisor of the world’s largest branded chain of transmission specialists and an industry leader in total car care services, announced today that its service center located in San Rafael, California has been recognized as the 2017 recipient of the Automotive Repair Center of the Year award by the editorial staff of Consumer Business Review. The award was given based on many surveys from local customers, as well as an in-depth background check of its overall alignment with the AAMCO brand and a compilation of local consumer reviews posted to Google and Yelp.
The award-winning shop located at 3241 Kerner Boulevard has been owned and operated by McDonald Lozada for the last three years.

McDonald Lozada,
Owner of AAMCO San Rafael
Winner of the ““Automotive Repair Center of the Year” Award

“Our AAMCO center constantly strives to provide the highest quality of service to each customer that visits our location,” said Lozada. “We are truly honored to receive this award, and I personally attribute this recognition to the hard work of my crew.”

Consumer Business Review interviewed customers about their experience at AAMCO of San Rafael, as well as their opinions of the nationwide warranty and financing options offered through the center. The local AAMCO service center was chosen as the Automotive Repair Center of the Year out of several surrounding competitors.

“We are very proud of McDonald Lozada, his team and the positive impact they have made on their customers,” said Rob Rajkowski, COO at AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. “They exemplify the values of the AAMCO brand and we commend their ongoing dedication to those they service.”

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AAMCO Named A Top 100 Global Franchise

AAMCO announced today the company has been ranked on Franchise Direct’s 2017 Top 100 Global Franchises Rankings.

“It is an honor for AAMCO to be on this list and for our proven business model to get the recognition it has earned,” said Brett Ponton, CEO and president of American Driveline and AAMCO Transmission, Inc. “Our success in franchising is a testament to the hard-working business owners in our franchise network and the tireless teams in our home office and in the field that provide the ongoing training and support to make it all possible. Together, we have built an award-winning total car care brand.”
According to Franchise Direct, the franchises that comprise the Top 100 Global Franchises stand out from thousands of companies that have invested in international expansion strategies. This list is the premier, research-only based ranking of the world’s top 100 franchises and uses a methodology that goes beyond system size and financial performance. The rankings are based on objective and measurable criteria, which includes system size and revenue, stability and growth, number of years in operation and market expansion. Rankings are also based on franchisee support and training best practices, environmental policy and social responsibility. Each criterion is given a weighted value, and the data for each franchise is plugged into a proprietary computer formula, making the outcome as objective as possible.

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