Detroit: The Motor City. Over the years, plenty of names have come and gone as the city remained synonymous with the automotive industry. Among all the change, however, one name has remained constant – Holbrook Auto Parts.
Holbrook Auto Parts has been a staple of the automotive industry in Detroit for over 75 years. Originally opened before I-75 was paved, Holbrook Auto Parts got its name from Holbrook Road, which it was located on before I-75 re-routed Holbrook Road and came through the area. Although the original location now sits on McNichols Road, the Holbrook name remained as a way to pay homage to both the city of Detroit and iconic road.
Being the Motor City and housing so many automotive headquarters and manufacturing plants in the area, Detroit gives automotive retailers and parts suppliers the unique opportunity to offer their customers a wide range of parts at low prices, often a fraction of what the same parts sell for elsewhere in the country. Because of this, over the past 20 years or so, dozens of business owners and entrepreneurs have moved into the city from the surrounding areas to open auto service centers, retail stores, and salvage yards all over Detroit.
Unfortunately, the overpopulation of such businesses and steep competition between them drove some businesses to cut corners in an effort to save money and be able to offer lower prices to their customers. This led to negative impacts on the environment, as some yards didn’t follow the appropriate laws and regulations regarding recycling and cleaning vehicles and auto parts, as well as hurt customers who may have been sold faulty, untested, incorrect, or damaged parts when they simply were trying to save a few extra dollars on the parts and service they needed.
In 2000, Holbrook Auto Parts changed ownership and started to undergo a major makeover. In an effort to reimagine what it means to be an auto parts retailer and salvage yard, and to steer away from the stereotypical dirty, dingy picture of what auto shops and salvage yards were in the past, Holbrook Auto Parts began to change both its appearance and business operations.
Taking notes from some of the most successful auto parts servicers and retailers in and around the city – such as Middleton Auto Parts, Schram Auto Parts, Highway Auto Parts, and others – Holbrook Auto Parts opted for a more modern-looking building exterior and a clean, welcoming interior with artwork and memorabilia honoring the city of Detroit decorating the walls. Work bays out in the yard were enclosed, outfitted with new lights, insulated, and had air and heat installed to provide employees with a comfortable climate-controlled environment to work in regardless of the weather conditions outside. Out in their salvage yard, Holbrook Auto Parts organized all their parts and vehicles into an easy-to-manage shelf system that resembles a massive inventory warehouse, making it easier to track what comes in and out and speeding up their service times.
When it comes to their day-to-day operations, the new management relies on their Christian values to guide the way they do business; Instead of seeing employees as just workers, Holbrook Auto Parts is operated by a closely-knit team that prides itself in conducting fair business and helping customers in any way they can. The Holbrook Team treats all of their customers equally, and carefully and respectfully listens to their problems and feedback in order to provide the best possible service to their loyal customer base. The Holbrook Team is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help their customers, and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their customers have the best possible experience doing business with them. The staff at Holbrook Auto Parts understands that car ownership is often an expense, not an investment, and they strive to help their customers lower that expense by providing high-quality, tested parts and fast service at the lowest possible prices, so that drivers can keep their vehicles running longer without breaking the bank.
In an effort to further improve their service, Holbrook Auto Parts joined Midwest Runner, an organization which connects automotive yards around the Midwest in order to allow for the easy transportation of automotive parts across state lines. By joining Midwest Runner, Holbrook Auto Parts is able to special order parts their customers need that may not be available in their current inventory. Further, by networking with exemplary auto yards around the Midwest, Holbrook Auto Parts is able to gain insight on ways to improve their business operations, as well as their customers’ experience, and keep the cost of stocking their inventory low so that they can pass the savings along to their customers.
Despite all the updates to the building atmosphere and business operations, it became clear that these changes meant nothing if their customers couldn’t reach them. It was this mindset that led to their expansion across Detroit, and Holbrook Auto Parts now proudly serves the Detroit area from four different locations, the newest of which opened just a few months ago in Brownstown Charter Township and offers both a parts retail store as well as a salvage yard.
Through all of its changes, Holbrook Auto Parts credits much of their success to the support of the community and their relationship with their customers. Because of this, Holbrook Auto Parts strives to give back to the community whenever possible, and they do so in a few ways.
In an effort to take care of the environment, Holbrook Auto Parts ensures that salvaged and broken-down vehicles are taken off the streets and out of people’s driveways and properly transported to their salvage yards. There, any parts that can be reused are then thoroughly cleaned and tested before being sold at a discounted price to drivers looking to save money on their repairs. Any parts or materials that cannot be salvaged are recycled in accordance with environmental protection laws, and fluids are drained and disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
Outside of ensuring the environment is kept clean and responsibly disposing of and recycling the city’s vehicles, Holbrook Auto Parts has also given back to the community in the form of a playground donation. This past year, Holbrook Auto Parts’ 7 Mile & Lahser location noticed that their neighbors at Davis Preparatory Academy, a state-approved school focused on developing social skills and providing an excellent education to the children of Detroit, didn’t have a playground for their kids to play on. In an effort to give back to the community and provide the children with a fun and safe environment to play in, Holbrook Auto Parts built and donated a play structure to the school, which was completed and unveiled to the children just in time for the 2018 Holiday Season. The students and faculty at Davis Prep were thrilled with their new playground equipment, and the Holbrook Auto Parts Team was happy to have had the opportunity to give something back to the community that will be around for future generations to enjoy.
In conclusion, Holbrook Auto Parts is a Detroit legacy that’s positioned to continue serving the city for years to come. As both an integral part of the automotive industry and a cornerstone of the community, they are dedicated to being more than just an auto parts retailer and salvage yard; Holbrook Auto Parts works to be an industry leader that sets a positive example for other auto yards and retailers to follow. By putting customers first instead of profits everybody wins, as customers are able to save money and keep their vehicles on the roads longer, and businesses are able to flourish with a loyal customer base that trusts they’re getting the best products and services for their money. Holbrook Auto Parts is grateful for all the support it has received from the community over the years and looks forward to continuing to keep Detroit On the Move for years to come.
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