By Dave Pearce
Ever since he can remember, Nick Barton has wanted to be an automobile mechanic. And while not everyone would consider Nick’s profession a “dream job,” to him and his family, it is just that. On May 4, the people of Posey County will have an opportunity to help the Bartons celebrate an open house at their new facility.
“From a young age, I was always interested in anything mechanical, especially anything with an engine. But I also had a stereotype of mechanics that is shared with most of society that is incorrect – that working on cars is not a professional career,” Barton said. “I learned later on that it is just the opposite so I enrolled in the automotive program at Ivy Tech Community College. At Ivy Tech, I earned an Associates degree while working at a local dealership and attending a number of manufacturer training over the next several years.”
Now, several years later, Nick is a happily married man and “Livin’ the Dream,” literally. He and his wife, Maureen and children Will and Katherine are thrilled to be in the new home of Barton Automotive on Highway 66 between Wadesville and the Posey County line. Nick’s parents are Richard and Marilyn Barton.
But this life has not been easy. Sacrifices have had to be made and decisions have been agreed upon.
“In 2006 my wife and I decided to open Barton Automotive Services. We started out in a small building I rented from my dad and after six years decided it was going to be necessary to buy or build a bigger facility to accommodate growth,” Barton said. “When the six-acre lot that we currently reside at 9019 Highway 66 went up for sale, we pretty much made the purchase the same day. We spent a lot of time carefully planning the construction of our new shop and about a year-and-a-half later, we moved in. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be where we are today.”
But Barton has learned over the years that you can be an excellent mechanic and still not be able to run a successful business. He learned that being able to communicate with people is key to any business venture. That’s why he spends so much time trying to be sure his customers understand when they trust his business to repair their vehicles.
“When I first started this business I was naive in thinking that success was going to be determined mainly by our ability to fix cars. Over the years, I have learned that is not the case. While the business is centered around auto repair, dealing with and understanding people is the key,” Barton said. “We have been fortunate to have a great customer base and employees that have made it a pleasure.”
Although he is happy with his current group of technicians, finding people who fit into the entire process that Barton’s believes in has not been easy.
“Finding qualified technicians has been a challenge. A good technician needs to have an analytical mind, be mechanically inclined, have a good understanding of electronics, and be good with their hands,” Barton explained. “These traits are usually not found under the same hood. The technologies in vehicles and equipment are continually evolving. Today’s technician needs to be able to navigate, decipher, and use these technologies especially diagnostic equipment.”
Barton recently learned that his company has been AAA approved.
“Last month we submitted our application to become an AAA approved facility. Part of the process is a background check sampling a random pool of your customer base to measure service, reputation, etc. To become AAA approved, a facility must pass with a 90 percent rating among existing customers,” Barton said. “We received news a few weeks ago that we received a 98.6 percent rating. Within Posey, Vanderburgh, and Gibson county we are the only AAA approved auto repair facility. Our hard work and commitment to quality and honest repair work are paying off.”
Regarding those who will work on your vehicle, Barton is an ASA master certified technician with many professional development certifications under his belt along with Kenny Morris, another ASE master certified technician and Tristan Mathew who also is a technician.
“Since we have been in the new shop, we have hired a full-time service manager, Tony Grisham to assist with day-to-day operations,” Barton said. “We also employ three part time employees, Jerry Barton, Dallas Glover, and Ryan Rapp.”
But despite having people working under him, Barton never lets his hand’s on experience get away from him.
“I am motivated by technology advancements and have a passion for staying on the forefront when it comes to technology especially in the newer models of vehicles. We attend a number of automotive conferences, professional developments so we can service a broad range of vehicles,” he explained. “We have the most up-to-date testing and diagnostic equipment, high quality tools, and shop equipment. We also use the latest technology in many aspects of automotive service as well as being able to pull from a number of factory repair resources.”
Since day one this has been a family business from my uncles, parents and especially my wife. We come together because at the end of the day, we believe in developing a quality experience for the customer.
“I encourage all our friends, old and new, to come out to our open house on May 4,” Barton said. “It will be a great time to walk through the facility, and come out and see what we have to offer. We will have food, activities for kids, and a Nascar simulator.”
For more information, please call Barton Automotive at 673-4271 or visit them on the web at www.bartonautomotive.com.
By Dave Pearce
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