Adapting to Meet the Needs

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Remple Auto centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba. PHOTO Rempel Auto Centre

We contacted George Rempel Auto Centre in Winnipeg and spoke with Owner Jeff Rempel.

“This business was founded by my dad, George and his business partner, Richard Janzen in 1997 at our current location. It was originally a closed service station with two bays and a car wash—we changed that into a three-bay shop. In 2000, we doubled the square footage adding two additional bays. Later we renovated the front and office areas,” Jeff informed us.

He continued, “I began my apprentice training in high school, completed a one-year automotive program followed by the four-year Red Seal technician training while apprenticing at GRAC. When I graduated from Red River College in 2001, I continued working as a full-time technician.

“In 2002, I began buying shares in the business and eventually moved into a service advising role. Richard and I continued buying shares which allowed my dad to retire in 2004. He has remained a source of support and guidance for us as we’ve grown Rempel Auto Centre.”

Currently, the facility has five bays, is about 5,000 sq. ft., and has 10 employees including Jeff—five technicians and five service advisors.

“Richard Janzen, Mitch Janzen, Les Murray, Bruce Whyte, and I are advisors. Bruce, who joined us in 2008, is a licensed technician bringing that knowledge to his service advising work. Les Murray has had a long career as an advisor and has worked at Rempel Auto Centre since 2013. Richard’s oldest son, Mitch joined the team more recently.

“Steve Hymers, Randy Janzen, Eric Sawatzky, Darryll Sikorski, and Paul Wertwyn are the technicians along with me when needed. Paul completed his certification apprenticeship year at GRAC nearly 20 years ago.

“Richard’s youngest son, Randy apprenticed all four years at Rempel Auto Centre and has been working as a technician ever since. Darryl joined the team three years ago and Steve returned to the shop this spring. We are fortunate to have a strong and loyal team,” Jeff states.

Client relations

Rempel’s has a fully computerized digital inspection sheet and invoicing system.

They regularly communicate with their clients via email and text including sharing real-time photos and videos of vehicles with their owners.

They also have a very strong technical team. ­All technicians are fully licensed and attend regular training to maintain their high level of technical knowledge and diagnostic expertise. They use a team approach to solve challenging diagnostic issues.

“We’re a general repair facility and quite able to meet the diagnostic and technical service issues for our clients. At Rempel Auto Centre, we pride ourselves on keeping our clients’ vehicles running safely and smoothly,” Jeff adds.

The Rempel staff engages in bi-monthly training through NAPA Autotech. Since the onset of the pandemic, this training has moved to a virtual format, so training has continued throughout.

Their technicians and service advisors also attend various training opportunities that support their individual needs for professional growth and learning.

They also have an excellent and well-established business relationship with NAPA Auto Parts benefitting from their ongoing training, nationwide warranty and personalized service.

Jeff remarks that they are always working to increase both their working knowledge and access to tools to address the evolving needs of drivers and their vehicles.

This includes ongoing training, research, access to the newest technology in scanners and tools, and the team approach to problem-solving.

Rempel offers a very high level of customer service.

“Our clients and their safety are our number one priority—we ensure we have enough staff and time to meet each clients’ individual needs. This includes digital inspections complete with photographs and videos, explaining the necessity of repairs so clients are driving safe vehicles but are given time to plan for the financial implications of maintaining their vehicle and access to courtesy cars,” Jeff explains.

Customers and community

Rempel Auto Centre supports its clients and the Charleswood community through financial donations to local charity events, schools, and sports teams.

They’ve been part of the community for nearly 25 years and value the deep connections to both clients and the neighbourhood.

“We take time to get to know our clients on an individual basis and most of our new clients are referrals. We also ensure that vehicles are returned to their owners cleaner than when they arrived at the shop,” Jeff says.

“At Rempel Auto Centre, we offer Modern Technology with Old Fashioned Service. This motto sets the groundwork for everything we do—provide excellent customer service and ensure each client is treated with respect. We also maintain an exceptionally high level of diagnostic and technical support to keep our clients driving safely for many years.”

About the future, Jeff remarked, “We will continue to grow and flourish by adapting to meet the needs of drivers and their vehicles. This means keeping up with the ever-evolving technology while continuing to maintain excellent customer service. I am thankful that Richard’s sons are interested in careers at Rempel Auto Centre.

“Mitch Janzen is an outstanding service advisor and building relationships with the 400+ customers walking through our doors each month. Randy Janzen is an exceptionally skilled diagnostic technician who leads the staff in delivering the high-quality workmanship we are known for at Rempel Auto Centre. I look forward to passing my family business along to the Janzen brothers so that they may continue to build the business for years to come.”

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