Independent auto service centers are banding together to use their combined strength to gain buying power and to help pass favorable legislation. Chesapeake Import Services was a founder of this group. The group they helped start is the Council of Automotive Repair (CAR).
Back in 2008, six Maryland shop owners created this organization: Billy Hillmuth (Hillmuth Certified Automotive with four locations in Maryland), Stephen Powell (Thoroughbred Auto Care in Laurel), Frank Eberle (Eberle Automotive in Severn), Clyde McLaughlin (Chesapeake Import Services in Annapolis), Walt Eger (Walt Eger’s Service Center in Severn), and Lewis Schnauble (Schnauble Automotive in Westminster).
- CAR was created to give a collective voice the chance to speak on behalf of the many independent shops in the Maryland-Delaware area.
- These seven successful shop owners knew each other through WMDA, and all were mired by typical dilemmas facing independent repair shops: rising parts and equipment prices; expensive training costs; and legislation affecting their operations.
Since WMDA heavily focused on service stations, they decided it would be beneficial to start a similar group focused on auto care.