The combination of automotive expertise, exceptional service, and meticulous communication in a local car repair shop seems like a dream. Add extensive experience and passion for servicing imports to the mix. Then, blend in community-minded and environmentally conscious. By now, you’re probably thinking, impossible. But such a shop exists right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Community Automotive Repair (CAR) is unique, well-respected, and appreciated by its customers and the community for its expertise, service, and integrity.
The service “shop” originated with a faith-based group known as “The Community”. The owner, Richard (Dick) Zaagman started repairing vehicles owned by members of “The Community” in a backyard garage, and soon after, several of these members became the first employees of CAR. They were motivated by a collective agreement to work at minimum wage so the majority of business profits could help the local neighborhood thrive. “The Community” was committed to caring for families who had the greatest need. Later, this group dissolved, but not before acquiring a small Unocal 76 service station. Today, CAR remains owned and operated by Zaagman, and has become an 8 bay authorized Bosch Auto Service Center on East Fulton. A wealth of loyal customers return again and again as well as recommend the shop to others. Why? The team’s attention to detail. Their sincerity. The thorough communication. Their genuine concern. The reasons are plentiful.
CAR is also known for their commitment to giving back to the community. Calvin Webb, the Community Relations Coordinator, reports, “Our business and its employees give regularly of our time and resources to Inner City Christian Federation, Kids’ Food Basket, and Congress +, an after-school program through Congress School.”
True to their origin and their name, CAR is also supportive of numerous local events and neighborhood sports teams. “We lend a hand on several individual initiatives of our fellow Local First members and various philanthropic organizations. We’ve been community-minded since our inception and we will continue to be. Our customers appreciate it.”
More money stays in West Michigan when consumers choose locally owned and independent businesses.1,600
Shift $1 in $10 towards local businesses and help create 1,600 jobs in Kent county alone.$1
Shift $1 in $10 towards local businesses and you could help create $140 Million in new economic impact350%
On average, local businesses donate 350% more than national & global businesses