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Shop Talk

December 6, 2010

Shop Talk: ACCEL Automotive

ACCEL Automotive 34260 State Highway 28, Andes Owner: Bobby Matos Established: 2005 Employees: None

Shop Talk is a weekly column featuring locally owned and operated businesses. This week, we talk to Bobby Matos of ACCEL Automotive in Andes.

How long have you lived in the area?

I moved here as a full-time resident 10 years ago, in 2000.

Tell me about your business:

I do just about anything that has to do with automotive work. That includes all types of repairs, 24-hour towing, routine maintenance, inspections with computer diagnostics, electrical work, metal fabrication, alignment, tires and detailing.

Describe a typical day in your business:

It's pretty crazy, because I have scheduled appointments, but I never know exactly what kind of day its going to be, due to the towing service and new or returning customers who stop in needing auto work. There is no such thing as a typical day, and it is one of the reasons that I love this work.

How did you get started in this line of work?

There is a reason that this is what I do: my father and uncles all had service stations and two of my brothers are involved in the auto industry. I grew up around cars, so it isn't just an interest that I thought I could make a living at _ this is what I have always done. Here's an example: I rebuilt my first car engine when I was 10 years old. I learned about the importance of honesty and hard work from the start.

Where do you see this business in five years?

My goal is to expand enough so that I can create some jobs for other people. It's an important part of keeping this whole community alive and growing. I am very proud of the work I do and want to make sure that it is done to my standards _ I plan to always be a part of the hands-on side of the business.

Describe a memorable moment in your workplace:

There are lots of memorable moments. Almost every day ... I can help someone get their car on the road, do a repair or tow someone out of tough spots. For example, one of my customers called me at home one night. Their car was stuck on a sheer ice incline in pitch dark with temperatures well below zero and the towing service with their insurance would not help. The truck I have for towing is specialized and was able to get the car out in no time. Being able to help someone in situations like that is really great.

What have you learned from your work?

How to be patient. There are some days where I am waiting on parts and they just aren't available as fast as they used to be. The economy has slowed the manufacturing industry so things can't happen as quickly as I, or my customers, would like.

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

The most challenging part of what I do doesn't have anything to do with autos, its waiting on parts sometimes, and having to give customers an expensive estimate that I can't get any lower _ it's just what it is going to cost that they might not have been expecting. I have a knack for finding good parts at inexpensive rates so sometimes my customers are more surprised with the bill being lower than they expected.

The most enjoyable?

There is no doubt, helping people out is the best part of it all. I like to be able to explain to them what is wrong, why and how it can be repaired or replaced.

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