Tim’s German Auto opened its doors in 1980 and has been located at the same location ever since. The shop’s staff understands that getting car repairs done can be expensive and unpleasant experience for their customers, so they take the time to help customers prioritize any needed repairs.
Below is the article as it appeared on The Fort Worth Business Press website.
Tim’s German Auto celebrates 30 years of business
BY LESLIE WIMMER
May 10, 2010
About 30 years ago Tim Yarbrough finished training to become a certified Volkswagen mechanic and soon after decided to open his own garage in Fort Worth.
Tim’s German Auto opened at the corner of White Settlement Road and Carroll Street in 1980, and has operated from the same location since. The garage started out with a staff of two in its early days and has since grown to a staff of 11 people, a few dogs and plenty of Volkswagen memorabilia. Yarbrough and co-owner Pat Thomas said they plan to keep the business at its current size.
Before opening Tim’s German Auto, Yarbrough had been working with Volkswagen for about 10 years, and said he decided instead of working for someone else he wanted to work for himself in the independent car repair market.
At the time Volkswagen had a dealership at the southwest corner of the intersection of University Drive and White Settlement Road, where Braum’s is today, Thomas said, adding that Fort Worth had a need for a locally-owned VW repair shop.
“Looking back now, to 30 years ago, I can’t believe I’ve been a part of this,” Thomas said. “It’s amazing. It’s truly a home-grown business, like the mom-and-pop places people talk about.”
Tim’s specializes in repair and servicing for a number of foreign auto brands, but mainly focuses on Volkswagens and Audis. When Tim’s first opened, Yarbrough was the company’s only mechanic and Thomas took care of everything business-related. Today, Tim’s has four mechanics, and most of them have more than 20 years of experience each in the auto industry.
One reason Tim’s German Auto has been successful over the years, Thomas said, is because the employees understand that car repairs are often an expensive and unpleasant experience.
“We know that you’re coming in here and it’s not because you want to, it’s because you have to, so we try to make it pleasant,” Thomas said. “And no doubt that it gets unpleasant when someone needs an oil change or something routine and then your mechanic gives you a laundry list of things your car needs.”
To make those experiences easier, Thomas said she and the staff at Tim’s will help prioritize a customer’s needs should a car owner find that their vehicle needs a number of new parts or repairs.
“Car repairs can get up to $1,000 real easy in just routine maintenance, you know with timing belts and water pumps and things, so we try to always prioritize repairs for people,” Thomas said. “A lot of times people will tell us they don’t have the money and won’t be able to do everything at once, and I can completely relate. So they trust us to prioritize what they need.”
Thomas said she and Yarbrough have never advertised their business, but relied on word of mouth references from customers who do leave the business with a good experience. A number of Tim’s German Auto customers have been coming to the shop since it opened in 1980, and today are bringing their children and grandchildren along, she said.
“It’s been real fun to be able to meet these people, and some of them have been coming in for 29 and 30 years,” Thomas said. “The dedication and loyalty and commitment from our employees and our customers is what got us here today. No doubt about it. We didn’t do anything real special as far as I can see, except we just sort of took what we knew and our skills and applied it to our business. Thirty years later it just blows my mind, that’s a long time.”
To read this article on The Fort Worth Business Press website, visit http://www.fwbusinesspress.com/display.php?id=12545.