Local business owners Elaine and Donnie Lysons of Lacombe Auto Service Centre Ltd. are feeling revved up after being awarded the honour of CARS Magazine 2019 Shop of the Year for Canada. 

The award comes in recognition of changes made in the shop since the Lysons' took over approximately 18 months ago. Changes include using cutting-edge technology for vehicle diagnostics and implementing new software and practices for overall management. 

“We won the award because they were looking for a shop that had gone through some significant changes in the past year. We have gone through some major changes. The customers may not notice the changes, because most of it was business practices. Things like the employee handbook that we brought in and several new software packages.”

Elaine added that there was also a review of all service providers for the shop and all-new digital inspection technology. 

“It has been very well-received by the customers. It helps with transparency because we can include pictures and video of what’s going on with their car. Instead of us just telling them, we can show them.”

The Lysons' are not new to Lacombe but are relatively new to the industry. The couple had sold their previous business and were looking for something that they could include their family in, and came upon 2A Auto. 

“2A Auto had a great reputation and an owner that was looking to retire,” Donnie said, adding that although they were unfamiliar with the auto industry, they were excited about the change. 

“We had a highly trained staff here that was already in place. We got to meet the staff, learn the culture of the shop and the type of people that we had working here, and saw a good fit. We decided to go ahead and immerse ourselves in the industry, buy the shop and everything has carried on from there.”

The Lysons' both said that it’s been incredibly important to them to develop a positive rapport with their team and their customers. This has been a point of pride for the couple and they are very thankful to the support of the community since they took over the business.

“As far as the award goes, I think the thing that makes me most proud is that in spite of being new to the industry, we are being recognized by our peers as progressive and doing the right things the right way. We’re doing our best and it’s nice to have been validated by people in the industry, and by people we respect and look up to,” Donnie said. 

In addition to this most recent title, the shop has also been nominated for the Best Customer Service in the 2019 Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Awards. As well, they were named Gold Winners  in the categories of Best Automotive Repair/Auto Body Shop and Best Oil/Lube Service via Best of Lacombe.