Women in the Industry: Erin Vaughan, Kinetic Auto Service Ltd.

by | Jun 12, 2018 | 1 comment

In the final installment of our series on women auto service owners, we meet Erin Vaughan, co-founder of Kinetic Auto Service Ltd. in Regina, Sask. Erin’s soft-spoken attitude belies a strong belief in treating her customers with fairness and honesty, and helping them make decisions about their auto care that include both an awareness of budget and the long-term health of their car.

By Martha Uniacke Breen

WHO: Kinetic Auto Service Ltd.

WHERE: Regina (Central), Sask.

SIZE: 4,100 square feet; 4 bays

STAFF: 4 employees


“I’ve always been good with my hands and good at problem solving, so when I was choosing a career, auto repair seemed a logical choice. After apprenticing at school and in shops, I saw that a nearby shop was hiring and went in and asked for a job. At first he offered me a job on the front counter, and I was like, no way I wanted to do that! But later he called back and offered me a job as a service technician, and I worked there for a while.

“Eventually I moved to another shop that later went out of business, and another tech, Larry Webb, and I, decided to start our own shop. He’s a silent partner now; he left to start farming a few years ago, so I run the day-to-day operations. One of the reasons we wanted to go on our own is so that we could control the quality of the parts and repair procedures we were working with; and to be able to treat people fairly.

“People appreciate that we help them stay on top of scheduled maintenance, which is so important. We get major jobs like engine rebuilds that could have been avoided if the owner had just done simple things, like regular oil changes.

“Last September, I came up with a plan called “AMP,” for Automotive Maintenance Program. By paying a fixed amount per month, customers can spread out their maintenance payments for routine things like oil changes, tires, scheduled brake jobs and so on, so it’s not such a shock when you get a large bill. It’s a great way to remind people to do their regular maintenance, and the overall cost is no more than it would be to maintain the car through the year. And if you keep this up, the car will last for many years.

“I don’t know if I can pinpoint a moment that I’m proudest of. I’m proud that I employ people and take care of them and their families, and take care of our clients. It’s important to me to be someone they can trust; I will give them the information and advice, and let them make the decision.

“Probably our greatest challenge is staying on top of training. It’s expensive to keep upgrading and staying current; it’s been a challenge for a lot of shops in our area, given the challenge of our economy here in Saskatchewan. But because the technology is so much more complex today, it’s not something you can avoid.

“I’d say to other shops to get good management training, and to charge accordingly. Sometimes customers will come in and say that other shops don’t charge them for diagnostics. But especially nowadays, with high-tech equipment, that takes time. If you don’t charge for that time, it’s just money lost. The same is true when a shop gives a lowball estimate and then once the car is in the shop, suddenly they’re charging three times more. I don’t believe in that. Integrity and honesty are extremely important to me in my business.”


This is the final in a series on Women Owners in Auto Service leading up to the 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference in Toronto, Ont., June 13, 14. presented jointly by the AIA of Canada and the Auto Care Association. For more information, visit the Women’s Leadership Conference Registration Page.

Indie Garage will of course continue to feature great owners and others from across Canada in upcoming months. If you know an outstanding shop owner, service advisor, technician or apprentice, let us know at admin@chatmedia.ca. Thanks for reading!

1 Comment

  1. rickshaw

    Well said and great shop owner.


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