Jim Maddox, owner of Jim’s Automotive in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been named by NAPA and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) as NAPA’s 2017 Technician of the Year. Maddox was chosen for superior knowledge in his field and best business practices as well as dedication to his business, customers, family and community.
Jim said he owes his start in the repair industry to growing up in a rural farming community, where repairing “things” was a necessity. “From an early age, I liked working with my hands and auto shop in high school was the class that interested me most,” he explained.
“A Volkswagen van was my first real vehicle which led me to become the local foreign car mechanic in our rural New Mexico community. During my senior year in high school I worked the graveyard shift at a local truck stop which gave me more experience,” Jim recalled.
After graduating he went on to Denver Automotive and Diesel College in Denver, Colorado, and hasn’t stopped learning since.
Even 40+ years later, Jim believes education and training are still critical to his success, the success of his shop and the technicians who work with him. Jim holds a long list of certifications including ASE master auto technician and AC/DC certified master hybrid technician. He believes strongly in the ASE certification program and offers incentives to the techs at his shop to become ASE certified.
In addition, his shop is one of the few ASE Blue Seal of Excellence shops in the state. Jim’s Automotive is also a Bosch Car Service Center, AAA facility and a Repair Pal “Top Shop.”
“My staff and I attend nearly all of the NAPA Autotech Training offered,” Jim said. “That’s one of the tremendous benefits available through the NAPA AutoCare program. We’re fortunate that Autotech training comes with being a member of our local Business Development Group (BDG). Everyone at the shop always comes away with some new ‘Know How’ after we attend a class. Staying on top of technology is more important today than ever.”
Jim has always been interested in electric vehicles and hybrids. As an AC/DC certified master technician he is developing a basic electric car maintenance class for New Mexico businesses that uses electric vehicles. “With the introduction of hybrid cars and now fuel cells emerging into the mainstream marketplace I want to position my shop for what the future will bring,” Jim said.
He added that choosing NAPA AutoCare as his partner is also a big part of his success today and will continue to be in the future. “Having a partner like NAPA with an excellent reputation and a nationally recognized brand makes good business sense, “Jim remarked being able to provided “NAPA’s 36-month/36,000 mile extended warranty is unheard of in the industry. NAPA advertising, tool and equipment buying power, commodity pricing, marketing and customer retention programs are also benefits of being part of the AutoCare family. I’m currently working diligently towards completing a PROimage makeover of my building including new signage and paint scheme.”
As an AutoCare partner, Jim is also an active member of the 38-shop BDG of New Mexico and serves as the group’s vice president. “There is power in numbers,” said Jim. “It’s important to be connected to other AutoCare shops in the area. It’s great to be able to have camaraderie with other owners and share information.
“The group is also involved in community activities and that are helping increase brand awareness for all of us. This year we raised $6,500 through our Meals on Wheels Oil Change Deal, for example. It helped provide more than 1,000 meals to the homebound.”
In addition to his BDG activities, Jim is president of Automotive Service Association of Central New Mexico and treasurer of Tree New Mexico, a grassroots non-profit group with environmental goals. He is a certified Child Safety Restraint technician, teaching parents about child safety seats and their proper installation. He has helped first responders learn new methods of accident victim recovery from hybrid vehicles by coordinating a three-day clinic sponsored by Automotive Service Association-Central New Mexico and the BDG. He has also assisted the Southwest Automotive Recyclers Association by leading a hybrid/electric car safety dismantling seminar.
Jim believes in helping the next generation of technicians get a start in the industry and promoting NAPA AutoCare at the same time. His shop partners with two area vo-tech schools and offers students a chance to participate in a shadow program that allows them to spend time learning from and working with a tech at Jim’s shop. “There is a technician shortage today and working with students gives us an opportunity to build enthusiasm for our profession,” he said.
Jim’s Automotive was nominated by the NAPA Albuquerque Distribution Center and Jim has been recognized as their top NAPA ASE Technician of the Year the past 6 years.
NAPA is proud to have Jim Maddox as a member of the NAPA family. Jim said the feeling is mutual: “Choosing to partner with NAPA is one of the best business decisions I’ve made.”