When it comes to finding an auto repair facility, not all are created equal, according to AAA. The auto club recently released its seventh annual list of Top Shops, auto repair facilities awarded for providing their customers with honest, reliable and quality service. This year, the auto club has recognized 20 Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facilities and three approved auto body facilities throughout the state, one of which is in Green Valley.
Hickey Automotive, 250 W. Calle de las Tiendas, owned by husband and wife team, Ron and Kim Hickey, is included in this year’s honors. In fact, this is the seventh consecutive year that Hickey Automotive has been awarded the honor.
“We honor these shops for going above and beyond in terms of professional standards, integrity, customer service and community involvement,” said Don Nunnari, vice president of membership products and service for AAA Arizona. “These facilities are truly the best of the best. We are honored to have them as a part of our Approved Auto Repair (AAR) network and to present them with this prestigious award.”
The Hickeys accepted their award at a special luncheon hosted by AAA earlier this summer in Phoenix.
“For the past six years, winning the award has meant so much to us, our employees and our customers,” Kim said. “There just is nothing like being recognized by your peers and your industry, by people who are in the automotive ‘trenches’ every day, and we know just how much time, work and commitment is involved in running and owning your own shop.”
To be considered for the Top Shop designation, facilities must first be a part of AAA’s AAR network, which is comprised of 151 auto facilities across Arizona that must meet more than 20 standards including:
- Providing a list of 200 customers to be surveyed on the shop’s service
- Staffing Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians
- Providing a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on repair work
- Agreeing to binding arbitration if there is a dispute with an AAA member
- Annual inspection by AAA
Top Shops go even further by:
- Maintaining customer surveys with at least a 90 percent approval rating
- Being actively involved in the community through service groups and charities
- Upholding an exemplary business reputation
Hickey Automotive opened in March 1988. Ron and Kim continue their automotive education and both are active in the community volunteering.
Kim sits on the board of directors for the Country Fair White Elephant, in addition to being on five separate subcommittees for the thrift store. She also sits on the board for Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, as well as having served previously as the council secretary and on the communications sub-committee. Tucson Mountains Soccer Futbol Club has put her to good use by appointing her picture coordinator and special events coordinator.
In February 2007, the Hickeys were invited once again participate in the annual Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Safety Fair. For the third consecutive year, they brought their crew and equipment out to the fair to provide vehicle safety inspections (with a written report). NAPA Auto Parts provided them with all the fluids (anti-freeze, oil, windshield wash, transmission fluid, etc.) so they could add them to any vehicle that needed it. The Annual Safety Fair is provided to the general public at no charge.
Both Ron and Kim volunteer at their sons’ school and are very active in their extra-curricular activities.
Sons Ronn and Ryan joined the Hickey family in 1994 and 1997 respectively.
Since an early age, their parents say, both sons have shown a knack and interest for the automotive industry.
“When they are not at school or sporting events, they can be seen helping out at the shop,” Kim says. “Ryan shows more aptitude for the mechanical side and Ronn for the business end of it. They are a huge help when we do our community events and safety fairs, whether they are held onsite or somewhere else in town.”
Kim and Ron admit their business is like their children.
“We have nurtured it and watched it grow since its inception in 1988,” Kim says. “Over the years, the styles have changed, color schemes, the names of the repairs and the services, and we have had to adapt, move forward toward the future, and just watch it grow. Just like our children, our love for our business and what we have created has no bounds.”