A Group EffortPosted 4/1/2008
By Lisa McReynolds
That's still Amir's philosophy today - and it has paid off.
Amir recalls that he and his business partner started by rebuilding Volkswagen and Volvo engines inside a three-car garage. They also repaired and serviced a few Volvo boat engines.
The shop went through four alley garages with walls knocked out before moving to a larger site in 1983. Without jeopardizing its reputation as specialists, K&S added BMWs and Saabs to its list of cars to repair.
"With such specific knowledge of a limited number of cars, we built K&S into one of the most respected foreign car repair shops in Baltimore," Amir said.
In 1986, K&S moved to its current location on Falls Road. In 1987, Amir's business partner left K&S. However, the business pushed on and grew strong as a mechanical and body and paint shop with 20 employees dedicated to the principle of good, honest work for a reasonable price. In 2008, K&S plans on adding another 2,500 square feet to its building to make room for several additional lifts and a new vehicle wash bay.
"I realized it could provide a good income and a great sense of accomplishment," Amir explained.
Today, K&S Associates is a full-service mechanical and collision shop. Amir and his technicians do any and all types of repair and service on Volvo, SAAB, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Honda and Acura vehicles. With a dedicated crew of auto enthusiasts, Amir himself wears many hats while running K&S. His responsibilities range from technical duties - including repairs, testing and vehicle diagnostics - to customer service. This includes writing estimates as well as dealing with customer and insurance company representatives. Amir also handles company and employee issues, which include administrative decisions and bureaucratic issues. These may include dealing with city, state, insurance and environmental issues.
"We have invested heavily - in both time and money - in factory scan tools, computers, software and subscriptions to allow us to diagnose and repair today's vehicles," Amir said.
K&S Associates' philosophy is to do the best job possible to repair its customers' vehicles properly. Its customers are important to the staff. The staff's main focus is to be thorough in checking, maintaining and repairing vehicles. K&S has built its reputation on its knack for finding the real problem and fixing it instead of fixing one thing after another, and at the end of the day - with so many parts and labor bought - the customer is ready to get rid of his or her car and get a new one.
Amir and his team at K&S acknowledge that the automotive repair industry hasn't always had the best reputation. This is why they believe in a group effort to ensure proper diagnosis of problems, making sure repairs are done completely and good ethics are employed. K&S Associates also believes this will raise the bar for the industry and will benefit each business.
Shop StatsName: K&S Associates
Web site: www.knsimports.com
Square footage of shop: 17,500 square feet
Repairs per week: 100 per week
No. of years in business: 28
Why he chose working on cars for a career: I get the most satisfaction from troubleshooting and solving the tough problems.
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